About TB CARE II

The USAID TB CARE II Project is a cooperative agreement implemented by a wide consortium of health and development organizations and led by University Research Co., LCC (URC).  The USAID TB CARE II Project began in 2010 with the aim of complementing and building upon existing and planned projects in the Bureau for Global Health to provide global leadership and support to National TB Programs (NTPs) and other in-country partners. The project works closely with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other USG partners at the global level and in high burden TB countries.
 
TB CARE II is designed to assist NTPs and other stakeholders to accelerate the implementation of TB DOTS, TB/HIV and Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB (PMDT) programs. TB CARE II programs work with a wide segment of stakeholders, including policy planners, public sector providers, communities, and patients to scale up evidence-based interventions and improve outcomes in tuberculosis prevention and control.
 
The objectives of TB CARE II are:
  • TB care and treatment (DOTS expansion and strengthening): TB CARE II partners assist national programs to provide universal and early case detection to surpass the 70% target and successfully treat over 85% of those cases.
  • Programmatic Management for Drug Resistant TB (PMDT): The project works to assist national programs to provide universal access to DST for suspected cases and treatment to all those with MDR TB cases.
  • TB/HIV care and treatment: Our team is assisting countries to increase early case detection, expand intensified case finding, enhance airborne infection control efforts and expand access to and integrate treatment of TB and HIV in co-infected individuals.
  • Health Systems Strengthening: TB CARE II seeks to fully contribute to health system strengthening as it relates to TB, particularly for improving political commitment, strengthening human resources, enhancing health information and surveillance systems, infection control, and engaging all care providers.
 
The URC-led TB CARE II consortium consists of a group of organizations bound by a common desire to reduce the impact of TB, especially in high burden TB and HIV settings. Our team members bring extensive expertise in strengthening TB services, including combating the spread of MDR TB, in countries around the world. The URC Consortium partners include field implementation partners such as Partners In Health, Jhpiego and Project HOPE. In addition, the TB CARE II consortium also includes technical partners who will contribute their specialized expertise, including BEA Enterprises, Inc. (BEA); the Canadian Lung Association (CLA); Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI); Dartmouth Medical School: The Section of Infectious Disease and International Health (IDIH/DMS); Euro Health Group (EHG); and the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute (GTBI).  The TB CARE II programs also collaborate with the following organizations: BroadReach HealthCare (BRHC); Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND); Medical Service Corporation International (MSCI; National Jewish Health (NJH); and Project Concern International (PCI).
 
Some facts about tuberculosis:
  • Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium M. tuberculosis.
  • Worldwide, roughly one in three people carry TB. Although the majority of people do not get sick with an active infection, new infections occur on a rate of about one per second. TB is easily spread through the air when people who have the disease cough.
  • In 2008, there were an estimated 9.4 million new TB cases, and 1.8 million TB deaths. TB causes more deaths worldwide than any other curable infectious disease and disproportionately affects the poor and working-age segments of society.
  • There are 22 countries currently designated by the World Health Organization as high burden countries which require extra support to tackle TB. These countries are spread throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America and include India, China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil, among others.
  • One of the main factors in the resurgence of TB is the expanding HIV epidemic. TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS. It is easily spread among people whose immune systems are suppressed by the AIDS virus and in some countries up to 80% of TB patients also have HIV.
  • The basic regimen of TB drugs has not changed in over forty years. TB treatment is long and complicated, involving six months of daily medications which can have severe side effects.
  • The key TB treatment strategy currently is the DOTS approach, for Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course. In this strategy, a patient is observed by a nurse or community health worker daily when taking their TB medications. This method is endorsed by the World Health Organization and currently implemented in the majority of countries with high rates of TB.
  • In some areas of the world, one in four people with TB becomes ill with a form of the disease that can no longer be treated with standard drugs regimens. However, only an estimated 7% of all drug-resistant TB cases are diagnosed and only 60% of patients with drug resistant TB are cured.