Twitter chat for World Tuberculosis Day 2019 #TalkTB

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In line with World Tuberculosis Day 2019, we are hosting a Twitter chat #TalkTB with prominent experts in the field of tuberculosis on Thursday March 21 at 11:00 EDT / 15:00 GMT.

Our chat will feature:

Ruvandhi Nathavitharana @ruvandhi

Dr. Ruvandhi Nathavitharana is a tuberculosis (TB) researcher and attending physician in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston (both MA, USA). She graduated from Imperial College Medical School London (UK) with honors and obtained her MPH from Harvard School of Public Health as a UK Kennedy Scholar. Dr. Nathavitharana completed internal medicine residency at NYU/Bellevue Hospital (NY, USA) and trained in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

TB has re-emerged as the leading cause of death due to an infectious disease globally. TB transmission from patients with unsuspected disease is the major driver of TB incidence. Dr. Nathavitharana’s research interests center around using implementation science to optimize diagnostic strategies to decrease TB transmission. Dr. Nathavitharana is also the Vice Chair of TB Proof, an advocacy organization that seeks to destigmatize TB and mobilize national and global resources to end TB.

Alberto Colorado @acTBistas

Mr. Colorado, is a Mexican sociologist, TB and HIV/AIDS activist, and international public health consultant. He is the Coordinator of the Americas TB Coalition, member of the Global TB Community Advisory Board, and Advisory Group Member of the Office of Binational Border Health, California Department of Public Health. A former Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Reference Group for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mr. Colorado also has professional expertise in tropical diseases including malaria and onchocerciasis.

Mr. Colorado advocates and lobbies politicians, administrators, program managers and frontline program staff to embrace a human rights approach to TB prevention, care and support, with the inclusion of key affected and neglected populations. Mr. Colorado uses social media and other electronic means to engage civil society and TB affected communities in addressing the TB pandemic as well as for other syndemic diseases like HIV/AIDS and Diabetes in the Americas. In 2009 he launched a social TB observatory, and in 2016 began the Americas TB Coalition, a network of multi-stakeholders from 17 countries. He also provides social and emotional support to TB affected individuals and their families using different culturally appropriate psychosocial approaches.

Thomas Scriba @TomScriba

Professor Thomas Scriba is Deputy Director Immunology at the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI), at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he leads a clinical immunology laboratory. Scriba trained in biological sciences at Stellenbosch University, obtained a DPhil (PhD) in T-cell Immunology at Oxford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in paediatric and clinical immunology in tuberculosis and vaccinology at the University of Cape Town. His research focuses on TB vaccine development and correlates of risk of TB and protection against TB. Scriba has been co-investigator on more than two dozen Phase I/II/IIb clinical trials of novel TB vaccines and has led immunological analyses of vaccine-induced T cell responses for most of these. He has also led several studies that have discovered and validated new biomarkers of risk of TB, which may be developed into novel tests that can predict the onset of TB.

Jonathan J Stillo @jonathanjstillo

Dr. Jonathan Stillo is a medical anthropologist and an Assistant Professor who teaches Anthropology and Public Health at Wayne State University in Detroit (MI, USA). His work and passion focuses on using anthropological and global health approaches to reduce human suffering in the world. He has received research grants from the US National Science Foundation, The US Department of State, Fulbright-Hays, and The Social Science Research Council, among others. Since 2006, Jonathan has been researching TB in Romania – including living at a Romanian TB sanatorium for several months and interviewing hundreds of patients over the course of more than 5 years living in Romania. His research focuses on the social, economic and structural aspects of TB, particularly antibiotic resistant varieties.

Jonathan has served as an International Expert on the WHO teams that conducted the 2014 review of Romania’s national TB program, as well as the TB program review in Republic of Moldova in 2013. In 2016, he was the lead author of an ECDC supported proposal for introducing integrated, community-based support for people with TB in Romania. He is Vice-Chair of the TB Europe Coalition and a member of the Global TB Community Advisory Board.

Tereza Kasaeva @TerezaKasaeva

Dr Tereza Kasaeva was appointed Director of the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Programme in the Communicable Diseases Cluster on 18 December 2017.

As Director of the WHO Global TB Programme, she is responsible for setting norms, policies and standards on global TB prevention, control and care including on tackling drug resistance, coordinating technical support, monitoring the global situation, developing innovative interventions through translation of new evidence into policies & practice, promoting research & development and through addressing system challenges such as community and private sector engagement.

Suvanand Sahu @StopTB

Suvanand Sahu is the Deputy Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat in Geneva. He is a strong advocate for innovations in care delivery, universal and equitable access, and people-focused work.

Sahu is a medical doctor and a trained public health specialist with over 18 years of experience in TB alone, working at different levels. He has been with The Stop TB Partnership in Geneva since 2009. He played a key role in starting and shaping the TB REACH initiative and contributed immensely to the partnership’s work with the Global Fund, Communities, Private Sector, the Global Plan and the UN High Level Meeting on TB.

Prior to The Stop TB partnership he worked in the forefront of the battle against TB for a number of years in India with WHO and contributed to the work of WHO in India and South-East Asia.  Prior to his engagement with TB he has also worked on polio, HIV and maternal and child health. He was part of the group that started polio eradication initiative in India in 1997. He has authored several papers and documents and has worked in collaboration with several partners across the world.

    #TalkTB Thursday March 21 at 11:00 EDT / 15:00 GMT @IDHubFSG

In addition to opinions from our panel we’d love to hear from you! If you would like get involved in the discussion or pose a question to the experts, please let us know using the hashtag #TalkTB. We’re excited to promote awareness around this important topic and to draw attention to World Tuberculosis Day 2019, so get involved!

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