The TB Data, Impact Assessment and Communications Hub (TB DIAH) project will collect perspectives from many sources on questions of interest to TB data users and stakeholders. Among these are questions about case detection, especially among high-risk groups; new diagnostic approaches that help reduce time from diagnosis to treatment initiation; multidrug-resistant TB and new drug regimens to address this expanding problem; and observations and best practices on data quality, analysis, and use as countries progress toward self-reliance.
Country capacity and commitment are the cornerstones of country self-reliance.
High-quality data, well analyzed, are crucial for understanding if populations are not being reached with TB prevention and care, if high-risk groups are being screened, and if TB programs are including tests for drug resistance. TB programs have the challenge of engaging communities for advocacy and education and helping to reduce stigma through improved understanding of the disease. Improved data and use of data will assist with these efforts.
The objective of all TB programs is to cure instances of the disease and stop its spread. Data are essential for monitoring if the cure rate is improving or not; if strategies against drug-resistant TB are working with appropriate medicines available; and if high-risk, positive TB cases are referred for case management. Timely data of high quality will help analysts track these trends for program correction and improvement.
The best way to combat TB is to prevent the spread of disease. Program implementers and policy makers need to know if high-risk groups are getting screenings and proper referral to care, if contacts of TB patients are screened for the disease, and if infection control measures are adequate and performing. Data are essential to monitor any of these issues and data analysis and use should inform steps toward prevention.
As countries begin to take on more accountability and responsibility in the fight against TB, monitoring their progress will be essential. Data are needed on questions such as: ‘What proportion of TB expenditures are managed by the government rather than donors?’ ‘Are resources adequate to enact country strategies?’ and ‘What proportion of funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is directed to local partners to implement activities?’ Countries will need high-quality data, data analysis, and robust data use to monitor their path toward self-reliance.