Partners’ meeting on health system strengthening for sustainable TB care models: people-centred models of care to improve TB prevention and care outcomes

Copenhagen, Denmark, 13–14 December 2018

As the Tuberculosis Regional Eastern European and Central Asian Project (TB-REP) approaches its end in 2018, TB-REP country focal points, national stakeholders, project partners and representatives of civil society organizations from project countries will meet to wrap up the Project and look ahead to its continuation in 2019–2022.

About TB-REP and TB-REP 2.0

TB-REP is a multipartner project covering 11 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). It aims to prevent TB and drug-resistant TB, and to improve TB treatment outcomes by increasing political commitment and implementing people-centred models of care. These models are based on evidence and adapted to country contexts.

TB-REP also seeks to foster the fundamental transformation of health service delivery and financing mechanisms by aligning this transformation with financial reforms.

Partners provide quality technical assistance and high-level advocacy to project countries. They also address intersectoral and governance aspects of TB and work to strengthen the links among these. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provided financial support.

TB-REP 2.0 will consolidate past achievements and address remaining challenges while ensuring continuity.

Progress made and challenges ahead

Through their participation in TB-REP, several project countries made their TB service delivery more people-centred by adopting improved health financing mechanisms and new approaches to planning human resources. The average duration of hospital stay and hospitalization rates, which are proxies of the people centredness of care, decreased overall. To this end, some countries developed and implemented roadmaps, several of which are endorsed at the government level.

However, the achievements made through TB-REP are threatened by the decline of external donor support that most project countries face. This comes at a time when their health systems and services are not fully prepared for such a transition.

Reduced support can affect health system sustainability and the expansion of people-centred TB services, which require resources beyond those needed to address technical issues (such as the implementation of the recently updated WHO treatment policy for multidrug-resistant TB and national health system reform).

Expected outcomes

At the meeting, partners will take stock of the TB-REP experience and prepare for TB-REP 2.0 by ensuring that they:

  • understand key areas of progress and challenges of TB-REP, and formulate lessons learned;
  • are familiar with some existing country experiences and good practices catalysed by TB-REP;
  • have guidance on developing and/or implementing roadmaps for TB-REP in their own country contexts if they have not already done so; and
  • are familiar with the purpose, structure and key content of TB-REP 2.0.

Countries will build a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities they may encounter during the transition process. This includes an understanding of how health system strengthening can support them to transition from Global Fund support to sustainable and efficient TB services, and to secure access to medicines and medical products.

WHO/Europe is organizing this high-level partners’ meeting in collaboration with the Moldovan Centre for Health Policies and Studies, the principal recipient of the TB-REP and TB-REP 2.0 grant.