Khayelitsha community stakeholders enthusiastically affirmed their support for tuberculosis (TB) research during a consultative dialogue with CIDRI-Africa Clinical Research Platform Lead Prof. Graeme Meintjes on the 12th of July at the Isivivana Centre.
Prof. Meintjes presented information about his completed HIV-associated TB studies and outlined plans for a series of future studies for which he is currently applying for funding. He sought input and advice from those who attended on their view of challenges in the field of HIV-associated TB and how researchers could address these.
The presentation was well received by the stakeholder group, which included Anova Health for Men, Treatment Action Campaign, TB Proof, MSF (Doctors without Borders), local Health Committees and the Khayelitsha clinical research site Community Advisory Group.
Stakeholders suggested new methods for engagement of trial participants and the community, such as the creation of psychosocial support systems, and highlighted the need to broaden the spaces within which TB is discussed.
“The idea that TB is only important when its 24th of March must stop. TB needs to be on radio, television, and if it means we need to pull up our socks as advocates then we must do so!!”—Goodman Makanda (TB Proof; Chairperson of endTB Community Advisory Board).
Stakeholders and researchers agreed that a new interdisciplinary approach involving researchers, health systems management, and local communities will be key to ending TB.
The attendees encouraged Prof. Meintjes to continue communicating his research progress to the community of Khayelitsha and assured him of their support.