Global Meeting on strengthening public-private care provider engagement calls for greater accountability and innovation to end TB in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Over 200 representatives from countries, partners and civil society came together virtually at the Global Meeting of the Working Group Meeting on Public-Private Mix (PPM) on TB prevention and care on 2-3 December. The Meeting was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Fund. The meeting was opened by Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme and Dr Madhukar Pai, Chair of the Stop TB PPM Working Group and Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre. TB survivor Handaa Enkh-Amgalan shared her journey combating TB as a child, and called for affordable, equitable and stigma-free access to quality TB prevention and care in both the private and public sectors.
Dr Madhukar Pai, Chair of the Stop TB PPM Working Group added, “ While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive setback, we cannot afford to give up on TB. Too many lives are at stake. We must work harder to mitigate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in both public and private sectors, and learn from COVID-19 to reimagine how we offer TB services. It was inspiring to see some of the innovative approaches that were shared during the PPM annual meeting.”
Key speakers and participants at the meeting:
- Reviewed global, regional and national progress in prioritizing PPM to close gaps in access to prevention and care services including through the roll-out of the PPM roadmap.
- Shared best practices and innovations in private sector TB service delivery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Discussed ongoing efforts to strengthen PPM monitoring and accountability, including through data dashboards.
- Charted the way forward and identified key priorities for the PPM Working Group for the coming year, including preparations for the 2023 UN High Level Meeting on TB.
The meeting was held in an interactive format. The first day featured interventions from a TB survivor, WHO and key partners including USAID, The Global Fund and the Stop TB Partnership in the opening session. A special initiative on PPM data dashboards to strengthen accountability led by WHO with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was presented. This was followed by a PPM priority country roundtable focused on strengthening monitoring and accountability for PPM. A spotlight panel on PPM and drug resistant TB as part of the global antimicrobial resistance agenda was held at the close of day, with an intervention and call to action from MDR-TB survivor Faradibha Zalika Fatah and from an innovative private-sector initiative in Viet Nam.
The second day focused on innovative solutions to harness the potential of all care providers to end TB in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. A modelled overview of the impact of COVID-19 on PPM efforts and the cost on not working with the private sector was highlighted. This was followed by a panel on leveraging social protection and UHC to overcome inequalities along the patient pathway, featuring the importance of private sector engagement to the overarching UHC agenda and the new WHO social protection guidance. A new course on PPM was announced by the TB PPM Learning Network. The meeting closed with the sharing and voting of priority actions to keep a high level spotlight on PPM in the lead up to the 2023 UN High Level Meeting on TB.
At the close of the meeting, representatives from national TB programmes, partners and civil society commended the work of the PPM Working Group and WHO, and pledged to work with WHO and partners in ramping up PPM efforts in countries.