The Treatment Action Group (TAG) continues to reinforce community engagement in scientific advancements related to TB as well as TPT. To further this mandate, TAG supported 12 civil society participants, some of whom IMPAACT4TB grantees, to attend the virtual 51st Union Lung Conference, which took place from 21 – 24 October 2020. The conference theme, “Advancing Prevention” was timely especially because of the rigorous advocacy that the IMPAACT4TB grantees’ have been doing around policy preparedness, increasing community acceptance of TPT and demand generation for short-course TB preventive therapies (TPT) such as 3HP.
As this was the first time the Union held a virtual conference, TAG provided technical assistance to assist grantees in navigating the conference platform.
“It was a new experience attending a virtual conference this year. I joined several sessions, however, I felt if it was physical it would have been very interactive as you can engage fully with the speakers as well as the other participants.” Stephen, Kenya
Some highlights from community participation in both the scientific and community connect programme:
To facilitate improved participation, TAG also identified TPT-related conference sessions in the main programme and prepared a summative TPT Roadmap (below). This reinforced participation in the scientific, as well as the community-connect sessions throughout the conference.
TAG further invited participating grantees to attend and report on the scientific sessions as TPT community reporters. TAG developed a summative conference reporting template aligned to the TPT Roadmap, to guide the reporters.
In terms of coverage, community reporters participated in the following sessions; Oral Abstract, symposiums and satellite sessions. The types of sessions covered by reporters over the first three days are summarised below:
Observations from the community reporters were positive. Most of them felt that the sessions were useful and that the information would assist in fortifying the evidence-based for their advocacy.