4th Stop TB meeting
Written by Janet O'Connor   
Friday, 11 April 2008

ImageRepresentatives from all Pacific Island countries and territories and international TB experts met at the 4th Regional Stop TB meeting co-sponsored and convened by SPC and WHO in Brisbane, 11–14 March 2008.

The purpose of the meeting, which was attended by around 70 people, was to review and discuss progress made in controlling TB in Pacific Island countries and territories and to make recommendations on further improving and strengthening national and regional efforts.

The focus of these efforts will be on ensuring the quality of DOTS programmes, enhancing TB laboratory skills, strengthening national and regional capacity to manage TB drugs, and providing a regional framework to standardise management of  multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and TB/HIV co-infection.

The meeting resulted in several important outcomes:

  • Countries, with assistance from technical advisors and WHO, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and SPC, developed two-year work plans that will guide national efforts to achieve the 2010 regional targets of reducing TB prevalence and mortality by 50 per cent (based on statistics for 2000).
  • Strengthened networks between Pacific national TB laboratories and their partner reference laboratories – Queensland Microbiology Reference Laboratory, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia, Pacific Paramedical Training Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, and CDC Reference Laboratory, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Revision of framework for collaborative activities relating to TB/HIV.
  • Decisions on the management of MDR-TB, which is now being reported from seven Pacific islands.

During the meeting, there was also an informative roundtable discussion with donor partners, including the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. The discussion was convened and chaired by AusAID. As a follow-up, SPC, WHO and CDC are undertaking activities to mobilise and strengthen support for TB control.

An inter-agency technical planning meeting between the three agencies, CDC, WHO and SPC, was also held to discuss inputs to countries. As a result of this meeting, a strong recommendation was made for joint missions and implementation of activities.

For more information, please contact Dr Janet O'Connor, Tuberculosis Section Head (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2008 )