Activities from KNCV in Malawi contained our responsibilities regarding the KNCV-led, USAID-funded Challenge TB (CTB) project. CTB ran from 2016 to 2019.
– Alignment with NTP Strategic Plan and Global Fund Concept Note
– Increasing case detection in each of the geographic focus areas
– Strengthening NTP leadership at central level, zonal level and a number of selected districts
– The project will collaborate closely with PEPFAR supported partners, both at national and district level
– The project strengthened the leadership of NTP in coordination and planning of operations research, sharing of research results and reaching consensus on policy implications for NTP.
In 2017, CTB in Malawi successfully upgraded the National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL) from a bio-safety level two to a bio-safety level three, in line with World Health Organization recommended requirements. The NTRL is ready to support the processing of over 3000 samples planned for the second national TB drug resistance survey in 2018. The quality of the work was approved by the Uganda Supranational Reference Laboratory (SRL) and a USAID consultant.
With support from CTB, the NTP increased the External Quality Assessment (EQA) coverage from 24% facilities in the second year of the project, to 96.5% facilities in the third year of the project.
Our other project in Malawi is the IMPAACT4TB project (Increasing Market and Public health outcomes through scaling up Affordable Access models of short Course preventive therapy for TB). The goal of IMPAACT4TB is to reduce TB incidence and deaths among people living with HIV (PLHIV) (15-49 years) and child contacts through sustainable implementation of affordable, quality-assured 3HP. The utilization of GeneXpert was expanded, where 222,000 presumptive cases were tested and the proportion of DS-TB cases diagnosed by GeneXpert increased from 6% to 18%.
Under the ‘People-Centered Framework for TB programming: Development of Optimized National Strategic Plans’ KNCV currently provides countries such as Malawi with the necessary tools and approaches to optimize their National Strategic Plans (NSP) in line with the End TB Strategy, SDGs and country commitments. The technical assistance for the NSP development process will be supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and planned and executed by KNCV as the lead technical partner in close collaboration with WHO (global, regional and country level), the Global Fund (TB team, modelling, health finance and economics experts, etc.), Linksbridge, and TB MAC; all of which will fulfil critical roles in supporting and vetting this approach.