CAP-TB Insights

Our Insights Blog contains posts about the ideas and methods behind our work:

by Dr. Anh Innes

Dr. Anh Innes is the Chief of Party of the CAP-TB Project.
 

Zhao Tong is a rural prefecture in the remote northeast corner of China’s Yunnan Province, where coal mining and subsistence farming have been the way of life for centuries.  Small villages in this prefecture are nestled along the mountain ranges, each connected by dusty roads riddled with holes and crevasses that make accessibility very difficult.  And at the eastern edge of Zhao Tong prefecture is the county that reports the highest TB prevalence among all 129 counties in Yunnan Province:  Zhen Xiong. 

I recently visited Zhen Xiong with the CAP-TB China team, flying first to Yunnan’s... Read more

Ma Htet Htet Win is in many ways a normal girl in Myanmar. Living in Monywa, east of Mandalay, she completed the 7th standard in school and then took a job in a factory that makes fast food snacks.

One day in May 2013, an outreach worker from the MBCA Industrial Zone Clinic came to her factory. The outreach worker gave information about TB and MDR-TB, discussed disease transmission and symptoms, and gave guidance to the workers to help identify people with TB.

Ma Htet already had strong feelings about TB. She had witnessed neighbors with the disease and had the sense that she would like to to help people in that situation if she could. She listened carefully to the... Read more

by Dr. Anh Innes

Dr. Anh Innes is Chief of Party of the CAP-TB project.
 

The vast upper regions of Myanmar are mostly rural, with some areas being especially difficult to access.  These variables introduce significant challenges to TB and MDR-TB control, which are distinct from the unique issues facing the crowded urban areas of Yangon. 

This week, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with CAP-TB’s partners in Mandalay -- Myanmar Health Assistant Association and Myanmar Medical Association.  Visiting the MHAA office in Mandalay was one of the highlights of my visit -- getting the opportunity to sit with U Ba Maung and his team was inspiring and reminded me of the... Read more

by CAP-TB

Those who follow CAP-TB’s work know that patient adherence counseling is a central pillar of our strategy against TB and MDR-TB. Why is it so critical? To understand this, we must remember that the cornerstone of the WHO’s “STOP TB Strategy,” developed in the 1970’s, included a very important and practical recommendation-- to “directly observe” every dose of TB medication throughout a patient’s treatment.  In resource limited settings, this directly observed therapy (DOT) is prioritized during the intensive phase for drug-susceptible TB, which normally lasts two months. 

In some countries, however, DOT is not implemented in a consistent fashion, mostly due to the shortage of human... Read more

by Eric Stephan

Eric Stephan is CAP-TB's Technical Advisor for knowledge management.
 

One of the most exciting aspects of our work at CAP-TB is discovering the many ways in which we can magnify the effect of TB projects simply by creating connections among key people and their ideas.  Our project’s work is helping to develop innovative activities to combat TB and MDR-TB --  But sometimes the strongest way to fight a disease is by helping people to ask questions and learn.

If a doctor in Chiang Mai is faced with a challenging problem about treating an MDR-TB patient -- or if a community health worker in Kunming finds a new way of spreading TB information in rural regions -- then... Read more

by Dr. Anh Innes

Dr. Anh Innes is the Chief of Party of the CAP-TB Project.

 
Decades before the discovery of modern anti-tuberculosis drugs, there were just two recommended treatments for patients suffering from tuberculosis:  Sunlight and clean, dry air.  Sanitoria, facilities where patients rested amid the sunny weather and dry air, were found throughout Switzerland and Scandinavia, as well as in the Southwestern United States.  During that era, the body’s own immune system was the only arsenal to fight the disease. Without anti-tuberculosis drugs, the only hope for treating TB was for the infection to be “walled off”, with the infected tissue eventually scarring down to kill the... Read more

The Control and Prevention of Tuberculosis (CAP-TB) project passed an important milestone on August 1-2 as it carried out an engaging Strategic Planning meeting for the next funding year, bringing together leaders from National TB Programs, implementing partners, and project staff from Myanmar, China, and Thailand.

To review the presentations and proceedings from the meeting, click here.

The meeting allowed participants to air their national priorities and discuss statistical observations on their respective progress in combating the tuberculosis and multi-drug resistant TB that threatens... Read more

by CAP-TB

A patient raises a question to the group.  "I want to know: How can you adhere to the second-line treatment?  It always gives me an upset stomach." 

Another replies. "If you can bear the pain for a while, it will pass."

A third patient responds with no words. Just a rolled-eyes face of extreme skepticism.

This is not a TB patient support group in one of China's hundreds of hospitals.  This discussion is taking place on mobile phone screens. It is one of many groups of TB patients that come together to share knowledge and support on QQ, the chat and social media application that thrives in China.

These online TB groups are blossoming, and their potential is... Read more

by CAP-TB

In China, a new approach to spreading the word about MDR-TB.

The CAP-TB outreach team recently launched a series of visits to Kunming City’s large construction sites, giving presentations to the workers about TB and lung health. Construction sites in Kunming are an ideal place to reach workers from the “migrant and mobile” population, many of whom relocate to Kunming from other areas of China to find work. Focusing education and prevention messages to these workers -- including key information about smoking cessation, TB control and prevention, and diabetes -- reaches a marginalized group of people with decreased access to health care.