Tuberculosis (TB) remains endemic in our region and is the second leading major cause of death in both Indonesia and PNG. At the end of this project, there will be four knowledge hubs in Yogyakarta and Mimika in Indonesia, and Port Moresby and Daru in PNG that can pilot and scale up successful innovations in TB case detection and models of care, and conduct enhanced molecular and epidemiological surveillance, supporting the micro-elimination of TB in these areas.
PRIME-TB hubs will be developed as Centres of Excellence within existing Ministry of Health facilities, with resources to mentor TB health workers from across PNG and Indonesia on effective clinical management of TB patients. Using a continuous quality improvement approach, PRIME-TB will pilot evidence-based TB treatments and innovations to determine their suitability for scaling up to other areas.
Pilots will focus on active case finding and preventative treatment, improving access to person-centred care, and access to innovative diagnostics and treatments. Adapted training, toolkits, resources and learning networks for public health leaders and healthcare workers on TB micro-elimination will be developed and rolled out to support successful pilots and strengthen health workforce capacity to sustain training, adopt innovation and scale-up elimination approaches. PRIME-TB project staff will use peer education and counselling to raise community awareness of TB health services and generate demand for services that address barriers to accessing care including gender-specific barriers.
In addition, the program will work with public health leaders to identify approaches to sustain a concerted effort for TB elimination.
Key laboratories will also be supported to provide rapid molecular testing for TB and TB drug resistance and provide data for enhanced surveillance to target TB micro- elimination programs.
PRIME-TB is supporting the COVID-19 response in PNG through staff support to the PNG Institute of Medical Research PCR testing laboratory in Port Moresby. Additionally, PRIME-TB has provided assistance to East New Britain through the Provincial Health Authority, supporting COVID-19-focussed community engagement and health education materials. PRIME-TB partners have been modifying active case finding activities in Yogyakarta to be COVID-19-safe, and learnings on the increased importance and key considerations for active TB case finding during COVID-19 are being shared for broader use.