TB Alliance: Putting science to work for a faster TB cure

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Engaging Communities

Learn more about TB Alliance's community engagement programs

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The TB Alliance supports communities' efforts to promote greater understanding of TB disease and research.

Without informed and engaged communities, clinical research is not possible. Through our Community Engagement program, the TB Alliance works with people affected by TB to empower them with knowledge and skills to promote open communication and participation in the TB drug research conducted in their communities.

The TB Alliance is committed to engaging communities and stakeholders in the process of developing new tools to treat TB, and through a Small Grants Program, has established the most extensive network of Community Advisory Boards (CABs) in TB drug research, as well as a research literacy program that aims to raise the level of understanding about TB drug trials, and the TB drug development process, in communities where research is being conducted, or planned. It is crucial for communities that are most affected by the TB epidemic to play a partnership role in developing these new tools, and help ensure that new treatments meet the needs of those suffering from TB.

Raising the
bar for
in the TB drug

To support the development of these research site-level community engagement programs, the organization provides funding to sites participating in its REMoxTB clinical trial to implement unique community engagement strategies. Each site's activities range from the establishment of formal community advisory structures, (CABs), to organizing workshops and trainings on TB drug research, to public education and awareness campaigns. These and other community outreach initiatives serve as a bridge between trial participants, community members and researchers, and help to establish meaningful mechanisms for open dialogue, participation, and feedback about the trial.

The establishment of CABs within the field of TB research has been particularly impactful. Developed as a model for community engagement HIV prevention research, the TB Alliance is funding this model to gain input on trial implementation and work toward greater community understanding of TB disease and research. CABs are comprised of community members involved in local leadership, social services or healthcare delivery, and are provided the tools they need to be informed, active, and meaningful participants in the research and development of new TB drugs.

Community engagement strategies vary by location, and the TB Alliance takes individualized approaches to ensure that each program is best suited for the site and the local community, with careful consideration of cultural norms and expectations for these activities in each region. The TB Alliance also engages stakeholders in nations and regions involved in research and clinical trials to ensure the highest ethical standards are met and that our programs continually raise the bar for community involvement within the drug development process.

Please visit the TB Alliance Community Engagement Program on Facebook to see our partnerships with local communities in action, or to share your own stories about TB and the research process.