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30th October 2019
Good Air: improving TB infection prevention and control in South Africa

As part of the Bloomsbury SET’s work of connecting people towards the development of innovative models and strategies to safeguard human health, researchers from the Umoya omuhle collaboration have recently facilitated workshops in Durban, South Africa. The name, Umoya omuhle, means good air in Zulu, and embodies the 3-year project vision of bringing a ‘breath of fresh air’ to current thinking on infection prevention and control.

Focused on understanding the challenges behind poor implementation and adherence to tuberculosis infection prevention and control measures in South African primary care facilities,  the workshops brought together key policy makers and also health care and allied professionals (e.g. architects focused on health facility design). Collaboratively, researchers and participants engaged in a group model building process intended to identify promising interventions aimed at reducing the risk of TB transmission. As part of ongoing work of the Umoya omuhle collaboration, these interventions will be refined based on insights gained by in depth qualitative and quantitative research at clinic levels and subjected to further mathematical and health economic modelling to determine which interventions are likely to achieve greatest impact if implemented.

In the photograph, Marie Theunissen, a TB survivor and Adherence Monitor at FAM-CRU, Stellenbosch University, stands with her team model in Durban, South Africa. (image copyright: Jennifer Falconer)

By Dr Karin Diaconu, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Relating to the funded Project Grant led by Prof Alison Grant, LSHTM and Dr Karina Kielmann, Queen Margaret University, with principal funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) working in partnership with the Department of Health.