To achieve the government’s goal of eliminating tuberculosis in the country by 2025, India Health Fund’s TB Quest will find and support innovations that will work towards annihilating TB in India.
India has 27 percent of the reported cases of tuberculosis in the world, according to a WHO report. The Government of India has set a target to eliminate tuberculosis in the country by 2025. To this end, the India Health Fund (IHF), seeded by Tata Trusts, and with support of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has launched TB Quest, an initiative to sniff out innovations working towards eliminating tuberculosis in India.
This quest is being co-partnered by the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), an initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, as well as Social Alpha, and Stop TB Partnership.
The TB Quest will help researchers and innovators in terms of funding, technical mentorship, hand-holding for lab-to-market journey, and dialoguing with policy and programmes experts for project rollout.
In a statement from IHF, the fund stated that TB Quest is aligned with its vision to support the adoption and scale-up of innovative products and processes, and is working towards achieving the government’s goal to eliminate TB by 2025. For this purpose, IHF is bringing together various partners and stakeholders, pooling expertise and resources fostering innovations, and translating these from ‘lab to last-mile’.
The area of focus for TB Quest include:
•Bringing the ‘missing’ TB patients within the purview of care, through innovations to find new cases and ensure care continuum.
•Screening and appropriate management for Latent TB Infection (LTBI) among all identified high-risk population groups in India
•Infection control in settings such as healthcare facilities, crowded habitations, congregate settings, including workplaces where transmission is high
•Addressing gaps in the supply chain of anti-TB drugs and consumables in public and private sectors.
The selected applications will receive milestone-based funding support for validation, beta prototyping, feasibility studies and product/ process evaluation, as applicable. The awardees will benefit from collective engagement with global stakeholders, and access to the global ecosystem working towards TB elimination.
Further, they will have an opportunity to present their innovations to the government’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP), aiming at integration with the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination (2017-25), the statement said.
Applications will be accepted up till April 8, 2019. Further details about the TB Quest and the application process are available here.