Lusaka, Zambia – Community of Practice (CoP) experts on Research, Monitoring and Evaluation from Zambia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi have identified research priorities and thematic areas to inform policies and practices in the management of Tuberculosis and occupational lung diseases at national and regional level. This took place during the inaugural meeting of the CoP in Lusaka, Zambia from 24 – 27 April 2017 under the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support (SATBHSS) project.
The SATBHSS project has established CoPs in project countries and these are designed to ensure that each country takes leadership in the area they have comparative advantage and support other countries. Zambia is taking a leading role in mining regulation and occupational health and Malawi is leading Continuum of Care. Mozambique has taken leadership on Economics of TB/sustainable financing and Laboratory and surveillance while Lesotho is leading on Monitoring and Evaluation and Research.
During the meeting a regional framework for research priority setting was developed and research minimum standards/guidelines agreed based on country’s current practices in order to ensure uniform research standards across the project. A dissemination plan for research activities by the four countries was also agreed with reporting timeliness and templates for both Research and M&E indicators. In addition, a system for tracking project implementation and updating the results framework was developed to guide the participating countries.
The aim of the SATBHSS project is to improve coverage and quality of key TB control and occupational lung disease services in targeted geographic areas of the participating countries and strengthen regional capacity to manage the burden of TB and occupational diseases in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).