Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease but is the world’s leading infectious disease killer, driving health inequity in communities. The spread of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) is an urgent threat to global and individual health security.
Burnet is committed to working towards the ambitious global targets to eliminate TB as a public health threat by 2030 through partnerships, community engagement, and accelerating the implementation of innovation and research.
To eliminate TB, it is critical to first address DR-TB as a crisis and threat to global health security.
Our focus is on the Asia-Pacific region which carries the majority of the global TB burden. Utilising our breadth and depth in research, international development and public health, we are providing support to national TB programs to strengthen health systems, design and evaluate programs and build capacity for operational research.
The TB working group will contribute towards the global targets to eliminate TB as a public health threat by 2030 through partnerships, community engagement, technical assistance to national programs and accelerating the implementation of innovation and research.
Our specific aims are to:
Engage with the TB-affected community and key populations to identify their needs, empower them to be at the forefront of the response and inform our work
Address drug-resistant tuberculosis as a crisis and threat to global health security
Address TB in key populations: people living with HIV, children and adolescents with TB, people who use drugs, migrants and refugees
Establish and strengthen partnerships with governments, national TB programs, academic institutions, reference laboratories, civil society and implementing partners working to end TB
Support governments and funders to optimise resource allocation decisions and efficiency, using modelling and software tools
Enhance surveillance systems for TB to identify hotspots and drivers of transmission including molecular epidemiology, geo-spatial mapping and new technologies (electronic data systems and mobile health)
Conduct discovery research to develop a point-of-care test and a test to determine priority of treatment
Strengthen health systems for TB, including laboratory capacity in resource-limited settings
Implement and evaluate integrated, community-based TB elimination strategies in low-resource settings that use a comprehensive (search-treat-prevent) approach
Provide technical assistance to national TB programs
in program design, evaluation, implementation support and training
Training and capacity building for operational research within country programs and national research institutes.
Papua New Guinea has been increasingly recognised as a hotspot for TB and drug-resistance. The RID-TB project continues to make significant progress towards combatting the major DR-TB outbreak on Daru Island in the Western Province, which has rates that are among the highest reported globally.
The Burnet Institute is a key technical partner in the PNG governments’ emergency response to DR-TB working in collaboration with partners funded by the Australian Government, including World Vision.
At the field level, our team has:
supported improvements in clinical care and case management
improved the diagnostic and treatment capacity of the hospital
improved patient care and support in the community
strengthened routine data systems
supported planning and coordination.
Excellent patient outcomes are now being seen, with the vast majority on path to cure.
Our aim is to accelerate change through interventions that are informed and driven by the local stakeholders and community. Burnet has a major focus on building local health worker capacity and strengthening systems to sustain the response.
We are engaging and empowering the TB affected community through a pilot model of patient education and counselling (PEC) that trains a team of peer-counsellors or “TB-PALS” (People Affected by, Living with, or having Survived TB).
- ANCP: Prevention and care for drug-resistant TB in Myanmar
Implementation and evaluation of a model of drug-resistant TB care to facilitate scale-up in Myanmar.
- Building a Centre of Excellence for Research and Training for DR-TB in Daru, Papua New Guinea
Building operational research capacity for TB in PNG through training, mentorship and research.
- Demonstrating the impact of next generation Cepheid tools in TB
GeneXpert Ultra and GeneXpert Omni for the diagnosis of tuberculosis at the microscopy centre level: PNG
- Diagnostic accuracy of Molbio Truenat for diagnosis of TB and rifampicin resistance
Multi-country clinical trial investigating the diagnostic accuracy of a new TB diagnostic test, Molbio Truenat, for detecting TB and rifampicin resistant TB in PNG.
- ESCAPE-TB: Enhanced screening and preventive therapy for TB in Daru, PNG
A community-based model for screening and delivering preventive therapy for latent TB in Daru, PNG.
- Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
A collaborative research program aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in PNG.
- Novel reagents for the serological diagnosis of tuberculosis
Using a drop of blood, an innovative diagnostic test may be able to detect if a patient has tuberculosis (TB).
- Rapid and accurate diagnosis of TB: New trial in PNG
New PNG arm of a randomised control trial to trial new tuberculosis point-of-care technology.
- RID-TB Patient Education and Counselling
Reducing the impact of DR-TB through patient-centred education and counselling in Daru, PNG.
- RID-TB: Reducing the Impact of Drug-Resistant TB in Western Province, PNG
The project supports an effective provincial program to reduce the impact of TB in Daru.
- The Social and Cultural Determinants of TB in Daru [SCuD-TB Daru – Study 1]
A pilot project about people with TB and their contacts: beliefs, access to services and experiences.
- Zero TB initiative Yogyakarta
Implementation of a comprehensive Zero TB approach to Tuberculosis control in Yogyakarta, Indonesia