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Eritrea- Green Light Committee Monitoring Mission 2021

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Eritrea- Green Light Committee Monitoring Mission 2021

The main objective was to assess the TB/DR-TB program implementation, evaluate current achievements and sustainability of the program

BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of the), September 14, 2021/APO Group/ —

The Green Light Committee (GLC) Initiative, together with the Working Group on MDR-TB, promotes implementation of the component two of the Stop TB Strategy that calls for the control and prevention of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) through: (i) increased access to quality-assured second-line anti-TB drugs; and (ii) prevention of development of resistance to anti-TB drugs in accordance with the Global Plan to Stop TB (2006–2015) and the Global MDR/XDR-TB Response plan (2007–2008).

It was established in 2000, and enables countries access to affordable, high-quality, second-line anti-TB drugs for the treatment of MDR-TB. Its main Objectives include ensuring effective treatment of patients with MDR-TB in accordance with guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the programmatic management of MDR-TB; increasing access to technical assistance to facilitate rapid scale-up of MDR-TB management; increasing access to high-quality, low-cost, second-line anti-TB drugs for the treatment of MDR-TB among well-performing programmes; preventing the development of resistance to second-line anti-TB drugs by ensuring rational drug use and advising WHO on policy-related matters to effectively prevent and control MDR-TB based on the best available scientific evidence. The Initiative is coordinated by the GLC Secretariat, which is hosted and administered by WHO. The Global Drug Facility (GDF), an arm of the Stop TB Partnership, which is also hosted and administered by WHO, carries out drug procurement for GLC-approved programmes. Technical assistance to MDR-TB programmes is coordinated and delivered by WHO and its technical partners.

Eritrea conducted Green Light Committee monitoring mission during 9-18 August and 20-31 August 2021 by two TB experts namely TB Laboratory and TB Programmatic expert respectively. The main objective was to assess the TB/DR-TB program implementation, evaluate current achievements and sustainability of the program, and develop recommendations for future activities. Furthermore, annual monitoring missions are one of the conditions for implementing the Green Light Committee (GLC)-approved treatment programs for drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), especially those financed from the Global Fund grants where Eritrea is funded from.

During the debriefing on 30th August 2021 that was attended by the Director of Communicable Disease Control, Dr Araia Berhane, Sr Hiwet Negusse, TB Unit Head, Dr Assefash Zehaie, WHO/ATM and focal persons of MDR-TB center, TB National Health Laboratory, National Medicine & Food Administration and Procurement Supply Management System.

Findings showed that Eritrea has achieved much that includes a new TB national strategic plan (NSP) 2021-2026 recognizes the need to ensure universal health coverage and the public health importance of DR-TB in Eritrea. The political commitment was strong as evidenced by government funding to most TB and RR/MDR-TB services, clear PMDT guidelines with identified key populations for TB, case finding strategies, treatment strategies, 2nd line anti-TB drug supply and recording and reporting. Identified key populations for active TB screening were children, persons with diabetes, nomads, miners, prisoners, elders and people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the country adopted the universal use of Gene Xpert for all presumptive TB cases. Then recommendation, implementation plan with timeline was also delivered.

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