How Can Operational Research Help to Eliminate Tuberculosis in the Asia Pacific Region?

Trop Med Infect Dis. 2019 Mar 15;4(1):47. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed4010047.


Broad multi-sectoral action is required to end the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic by 2030 and this includes National TB Programmes (NTPs) fully delivering on quality-assured diagnostic, treatment and preventive services. Large implementation gaps currently exist in the delivery of these services, which can be addressed and closed through the discipline of operational research. This paper outlines the TB disease burden and disease-control programme implementation gaps in the Asia-Pacific region; discusses the key priority areas in diagnosis, treatment and prevention where operational research can be used to make a difference; and finally provides guidance about how best to embed operational research within a TB programme setting. Achieving internationally agreed milestones and targets for case finding and treatment requires the NTP to be streamlined and efficient in the delivery of its services, and operational research provides the necessary evidence-based knowledge and support to allow this to happen.

Keywords: Asia Pacific; SORT IT; diagnosis; operational research; prevention; treatment; tuberculosis.