A tuberculosis training session for health care workers in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Motivating and mobilizing to support TB prevention and care
Effective medications have a long and successful record of curing individual cases of tuberculosis (TB). But to manage the disease at community and national levels, interventions that address social, political, and informational needs are also crucial.
Sustaining financial resources for TB control requires advocating for adequate funding. Ensuring that people know about TB services and how to access them means communicating effectively. Raising awareness and demand for programs, assisting in the delivery of services, and ensuring that existing programs continue to operate requires mobilizing a wide group of stakeholders. Together, interventions that aim to achieve these goals are called advocacy, communication, and social mobilization (ACSM).
Building skills globally
In collaboration with the US Agency for International Development, the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, the World Health Organization, and local partners, PATH has designed and led ACSM trainings in every region of the world. Our training has contributed to strengthening national responses to TB, built regional communities of practice, and provided support for critical contributions from civil society groups that have strengthened TB care in local communities as well as internationally.
Our training programs have been adapted and used around the world. As a result, many countries decided to incorporate ACSM into their national TB control strategies. Health care officials have conducted workshops in countries from Azerbaijan to Ukraine, building the skills of their team members and creating the potential for sustainable efforts in advocacy, communication, and social mobilization.
Supporting civil society
Engaging people in locally led solutions is the foundation of a successful and sustainable approach to TB control. In seven African countries, we’re supporting civil society leaders and former TB patients as they launch the Africa Coalition on Tuberculosis (ACT!). The first organization of its kind, the coalition brings together dynamic leaders from across Africa to mobilize support for universal access to high-quality, rapid TB diagnosis; appropriate, patient-centered care and treatment; and effective new drugs and vaccines.PATH supports the coalition’s organizational development and its effort to build the skills of regional TB communities in advocacy, communication, and social mobilization. The group is energizing advocacy throughout the continent. Their model of change through leadership and skills-building is gaining support, and it promises to be taken up in new regions.
Photo: PATH/Patrick McKern.