Organized by the Tuberculosis Research Advisory Council (TRAC) secretariat of the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI), Hawassa University, and the Sidama region health bureau, the 16th annual TB Research Conference and 2022 World TB day, have successfully been held from March 22- 24, 2022, at Hawassa University.
With the theme of this year’s event being “Invest to End TB, Save Lives!!” a unique platform was had, that drew national TB program managers from Eritrea, South Sudan, Somaliland and Kenya, who took center stage to share their country’s experiences in addition to issues related with cross-border TB.
The event was officially opened through a welcome address, by the TRAC Chair-Prof. Afework Kassu after which, Dr. Ayano Berasso, Hawassa University president, in compliment gave a cordial welcome to the campus. Furthermore, keynote addresses were made by representatives from USAID, GLRA, CDC and WHO.
During the conference, a total of 36 oral presentations were made in addition to 7 poster presentations. Dr. Awraris Hailu took home the best oral presentation award for the research presentation title, “Diagnostic delay and associated factors among patients taking extra-pulmonary tuberculosis treatment at public health facility of North Showa zone Ethiopia,” whilst Ayinalem Alemu, received the award for best poster presentation for the research titled, “COVID-19 as a potential risk factor to reactivate tuberculosis in recovered individuals: A Systematic Review of Case Reports.”
During the side meeting organized for cross-border related issues, representatives of IGAD countries, Africa CDC, USAID, WHO, AHRI, EPHI and TRAC jointly agreed to work together to eliminate and eradicate TB. A regional task force with a clear term of reference was agreed upon to address cross-border TB issues and it was further noted that concerted efforts from all stakeholders would be needed to materialize the initiative.