Regional Collaborating Committee on Tuberculosis Control and Care (RCC-TB)

Joining forces to fight tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB)

Brief background

The RCC-TB is a result of a process which already began in October 2007, when the Berlin Declaration on Tuberculosis was endorsed at a high-level ministerial forum. In this declaration, Member States and partners renewed their political commitment to control tuberculosis in the WHO European Region. To more efficiently combat TB and M/XDR-TB the WHO Regional Office for Europe, in consultation with Member States, partners, civil society organizations and communities, developed the "Consolidated Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Multidrug- and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the WHO European Region, 2011–2015".

This plan was unanimously endorsed by the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region at the sixty-first session of the WHO Regional Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September 2011, along with the accompanying resolution (EUR/RC61/R7). The resolution urges Member States to harmonize, as appropriate, their national health strategies and/or national M/XDR-TB responses with the Consolidated Action Plan, and Article 11 of the resolution requested that WHO/Europe establish a European StopTB partnership platform and/or related mechanisms to strengthen the involvement of national and international partners, including civil society organizations, in the prevention and control of TB and M/XDR-TB.

At the sixty-fifth session of the Regional Committee held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 17 September 2015, WHO Member States endorsed an updated regional TB action plan (TBAP) and its accompanying resolution, covering the period 2016 to 2020 and building on the progress made through the implementation of the previous regional TB consolidated action plan. This plan is in line with the European Health 2020 policy framework and the 2014 global End TB Strategy endorsed by the World Health Assembly. The role of patient-centred models of care and civil society involvement in the prevention of TB has been further highlighted in TBAP.

About the RCC-TB

Through a consultative process with civil society organizations, technical partners and donors, WHO/Europe has established the Regional Collaborating Committee on Tuberculosis Control and Care (RCC-TB) and its first meeting was held in December 2012.

The mission of RCC-TB is to achieve universal access to evidence-based TB and M/XDR-TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care across the WHO European Region. The key objectives are to strengthen involvement and foster collaboration between national and international partners in TB and M/XDR-TB prevention, control and care. Also, the RCC aims to raise awareness about TB, advocate for resource mobilization and catalyze an exchange of best practices regarding TB and M/XDR-TB prevention, care and control.

"Best practices in prevention, control and care for drug-resistant tuberculosis", a resource for the continued implementation of the Consolidated Action Plan was published in 2013. This compendium comprises a wealth of examples about successful contributions from different players in TB prevention and control, including the areas detailed under the objectives of the RCC-TB. In 2015, a compendium of good practices in health-systems strengthening for prevention and care of tuberculosis and drug-resistant tuberculosis was developed, providing examples from both low- and high-burden countries in addressing health system challenges to fight TB in the WHO European Region. This compendium supports the implementation of the TB action plan 2016-2020 and represents a valuable resource for enabling countries to share good strategies that could be adapted to other country contexts. 

Who can become a member of RCC-TB network?

RCC-TB is open to all individuals and institutions with substantial expertise and experience in areas related to TB prevention, control and care. Applications for network membership will be assessed by WHO, in its sole and absolute discretion, in accordance with WHO rules and regulations, policies and practices.

Contributions to discussion and the sharing of information with regard to experiences of organizations in the areas of TB and M/XDR-TB prevention, control and care could make a huge difference in the combat against TB and M/XDR-TB. Therefore everyone is encouraged to apply to become a member of the RCC-TB network.

In case of questions or comments, please contact: tuberculosis@euro.who.int. The programme of TB and multidrug-resistant TB of the WHO Regional Office for Europe serves as secretariat for the RCC-TB. A steering group of the RCC-TB oversees and governs the key activities of the RCC-TB.

The Steering Group consists of 11 members representing the following organizations: Eli Lilly Foundation, European Respiratory Society, Foundation for Development of Ukraine, Global Health Advocates, Health Development Center AFI, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Koch-Metschnikow Forum, Nannouz, Stop TB Partnershiop, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and USAID.