A meeting on digital innovations, TB and implementation research organised by WHO and the European Respiratory Society

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Group of people posing after a meeting on TB, in Geneva

WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Programme (WHO/GTB) and the European Respiratory Society convened a technical meeting on digital innovations, TB and implementation research, in Geneva on 7 February 2020. This meeting brought together funders,
partners, representatives of national TB programmes, civil society and scientists to discuss the challenges and opportunities when evaluating, integrating and scaling up digital technologies under programmatic settings.  Specifically, this meeting
sought to receive input on the elements of a toolkit on implementation research that is currently being developed by WHO/GTB and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) to support evidence-informed use of
digital technologies under programmatic settings. Th etoolkit will be launched in mid-2020. Considering that several countries are updating their national TB strategic plans and preparing funding proposals for submission to the Global Fund, this meeting
also sought to create mutual understanding on the importance of resourcing implementation science to bridge the divide between research and practice.

This present meeting, is the latest in a series of efforts by WHO/GTB to facilitate the meaningful use of digital technologies for TB prevention and care. It
was preceded by a one-day workshop on 6 February held at the same venue for partner agencies of the ASCENT project. ASCENT is a UNITAID-funded project that started in 2019 with the aim of increasing demand and adoption of affordable digital technologies for TB medication adherence. The project is led by KNCV in partnership with Aurum Institute for Health
Research, PATH and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Activities are running in Ethiopia, the Philippines, South Africa, Ukraine and Tanzania UR. This was the first in a series of annual meetings that will be coordinated by the WHO/GTB
to assess progress in implementation of country activities and results from the interventions.

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