One of the best things of this year is that I was able to meet so many dedicated people

Kristian van Kalmthout – former Young Professional at KNCV

In 2011 Kristian graduated Maastricht University with a master degree in Global Health and wrote his thesis on how to leverage internet and mobile phones to improve volunteer coordination and disaster response in Kenya. He gained work experience in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in various settings such as health programs, hospitals and (social) enterprises.

In 2015, he joined KNCV as a Young Professional and was given the opportunity to develop a broad professional basis in TB control through intensive training in The Hague coupled with an international field assessment of 2,5 months in Bangladesh.

2016-02-04-17-28-07Since his return from Bangladesh, Kristian has been part of the digital health initiative where he and other colleagues have developed a comprehensive, action-oriented digital health strategy for KNCV. This strategy aims to lead to more and better utilization of digital health solutions in countries were KNCV works.
He also became part of the New Drugs and Regimen initiative that supports countries in the roll-out of short TB treatment regimens and the introduction of new drugs like delamanid and bedaquiline.

For the next year he will support National TB programs in Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Swaziland and Ukraine to assess and implement digital health solutions to improve the accessibility, availability and the exchange of information to empower patients, health providers, managers and policy makers to take well-informed decisions.

Kristian:
“One of the best things of this year is that I was able to meet so many dedicated people both in The Hague as well as abroad. I feel privileged to experience all these people during my travels.“

“I was amazed by the strength of MDR-TB patients that have to take over 16.000 medicines during the course of their treatment. Most of them were able to continue treatment, even having to travel hours before taking them and have severe side effects after taking them.”

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 117 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB control, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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Tuberculosis is still one of the major causes of preventable death in the world and claims over 4000 lives a day, leading to over 1,5 million deaths a year.

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