Cotonou 30th March 2018 – The Central African Regional Network for TB control (CARN TB) has been created in Cotonou, on 29th March 2018. Indeed, very impressed by the achievements of the West African Regional Network for TB Control (WARN TB) during its three years of existence, Central African National TB Programmes representatives were wishing to replicate this experience and develop their own network.
The dream comes true during the WARN TB third statutory meeting, held from 29th to 30th March 2018, in Cotonou, to which were invited the Central African National TB Programmes.
The one year board of the CARN TB is composed of: Dr. Ambrosio Disadidi, coordinator of TB Programme for Angola, as co-chair, Dr. Vincent Mbassa, coordinator of TB Programme for Cameroun, as co-chair, Dr. Henriette Wembanyama, responsible of the NGO “Point Santé”, as co-chair Civil Society, and Michel Kasswa, coordinator of TB Programme of DRC as Executive Secretary. This new created institution is planning to hold its first meeting in June or July 2018.
The West African Regional Network for TB control (WARN TB), which served as a model for the creation of CARN TB was initiated in 2015 by the WHO Special Programme for Research and Tropical Disease (TDR) in line with the End TB Strategy. WARN TB is composed of the 16 national TB programmes (16 countries) in West Africa. It is supported by international NGOs such as the Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases and the Damien Foundation; and international organizations including the West African Health Organization (WAHO), the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and WHO. The Benin National TB Programme hosts the secretariat.
Speaking about the WARN TB, the Ghana National TB Programme coordinator, Professor Franck Bonsu Co-chair of the network said “We want to do something good to our people, our countries. We have a common voice in this association, we respect each other, recognize our partners.”
The Central African Network is supposed to work under the same values.
The focus of these two networks is on developing more effective approaches to TB care, using implementation and operational research to investigate barriers and design new solutions for individual countries and the entire sub-region. The networks are expected to do this by sharing experiences and cultivating more local scientists who can design local solutions; and bring them together so they can learn from each other and develop stronger regional approaches. All work is centered on national TB programmes, where critical data and control policies are managed.
WARN TB and CARN TB are expected to develop synergies and collaborative spaces that meet the needs of both structures and adapt to the realities of each.
With the creation of CARN TB, West and Central Africa are now more equipped to effectively work for an Africa free of TB in 2035.
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