Publications from PNG’s first Operational Research Training on Tuberculosis

TB-CRE investigators publish enormously successful outcomes from the first Operational Research Training program in TB services held in PNG

Tuberculosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Major challenges include under-detection of cases, poor treatment outcomes and high numbers of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in several locations. PNG’s National Department of Health and National Tuberculosis Program recognise that operational research is fundamental to improving tuberculosis control in PNG. In 2017-18, the first operational research capacity building program for tuberculosis was implemented in PNG, with funding provided by the Australian Government through the Tropical Disease Research Regional Collaboration. Selected participants were health workers who provide tuberculosis services in PNG and whose operational research projects represented a range of tuberculosis-related challenges, settings and provinces.

The findings from these research projects have now been published and are freely available on-line as a supplement of Public Health Action here.

The participants and facilitators deserve enormous credit for such a high completion rate from project inception through to peer-reviewed publication, and this body of work was recently highlighted at the recent Annual PNG Medical Symposium in Port Moresby. Ongoing initiatives are planned to continue to sustain the enabling environment this initiative has created to conduct operational research relevant to policy and practice, and to identify national operational research champions.

The operational research training program was developed and implemented by the Burnet Institute in collaboration with the PNG Institute of Medical Research and University of PNG, and supported by the PNG National Department of Health and National TB Program. The training program is based on the Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT-IT) model, a global partnership led by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization (WHO/TDR).

The findings from these research projects are freely available on-line as a supplement of Public Health Action here.

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