Photo credit: IRD, Durban partners


Zero TB Cities Project

Working with local governments, institutions and grassroots associations
to deliver live-saving care and support.


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What is the Zero TB Initiative?

The Zero TB Initiative helps partners bring the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic into the elimination phase by focusing on local government participation to drive and maintain catalytic successes against TB in multiple locations. Under this Initiative, the Zero TB Cities Project supports and facilitates interaction between implementing coalitions that ambitiously tackle TB in all its forms by prioritizing a comprehensive set of activities in major metropolitan areas.


Where are Zero TB Cities & Partners?

To date, Chennai, India; Karachi, Pakistan; and Lima (Carabayllo), Peru have moved swiftly to design comprehensive programs, create new partnership models, and begin resource mobilization for this effort. Durban, South Africa and Chennai are both integrating non-communicable disease programs and support for patients. Exciting new initiatives in UlaanBaatar, Mongolia, Odessa, Ukraine, Batumi, Georgia, and several sites in Vietnam and beyond are designing, innovating, and delivering comprehensive approaches. Already, these sites have designated and begun spending tens of millions of US dollars worth of new grants from existing and new funders and seeing encouraging operational results. Other cities are also launching programs around the world, and will be making announcements in the coming weeks.

What does it mean to have a comprehensive program against TB?

Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020 provides a global context for how a paradigm shift against TB can happen.  In support of this plan, the Zero TB Initiative proposes that in specific sites, new strategies are required to treat patients promptly and effectively, search for and diagnose everyone who is sick with TB, and prevent future TB cases by stopping the transmission of TB.

A comprehensive approach integrates three simultaneous strands of activities: Search, Treat and Prevent. The Zero TB Initiative guide Getting to Zero summarized this approach and provides evidence for implementing it urgently in the fight against TB.


Global TB Realities

  • TB is an airborne disease and is found in every country in the world

  • Each year, at least 10.4 million people fall ill from TB and 1.8 million die, or rougly 4,000 every day

  • TB is the leading infectious killer of adults worldwide and among the top 10 causes of death overall in 2015

  • Conservatively, 580,000 people today live with multi-drug resistant TB

  • TB is a leading killer among people living with HIV

  • TB is closely linked with social and economic marginalization

  • Diagnosis and treatment for chlidren with TB is particularly difficult

  • TB is mostly found in the "BRICS" countries, and in low-income settings

  • Primary data source: WHO Global Tuberculosis Report - 2016


Where can I find peer-reviewed evidence to support this comprehensive approach?

A coalition of researchers from 11 countries, including Zero TB Initiative partners, authored a 2016 series in The Lancet: “How to eliminate tuberculosis”:

How does the Zero TB Initiative collaborate and share across sites?

Partners from Zero TB Cities and beyond meet regularly to discuss operational challenges and how these have been overcome in different settings. The focus of these meetings ranges from:

  • Regimen design for TB treatment and prevention;

  • Supply chain and procurement issues;

  • Programmatic overviews from cities, islands and districts that are moving toward a comprehensive approach.

These meetings are open to programs interested in learning more about the Zero TB Initiative and frequently result in the launch of new partnerships in cities and countries around the world.

Additionally, meetings result in expert consensus statements or policy briefs on key issues related to the Search-Treat-Prevent approach. Proceedings from these meetings and workshops, as well as clinical guides, can be found here.

Who does the Zero TB Initiative work with globally and in specific sites?

The Stop TB Partnership, the Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery - Dubai, AA&D, and Interactive Research and Development (IRD) launched the Zero TB Initiative. Each supported local coalition contains partners from civil society, local governments, universities, and private care providers who are committed to driving down TB mortality and incidence with the Search-Treat-Prevent approach. Brief descriptions of some of these coalitions can be found here.

Zero TB Initiative works closely with activists to employ direct action and human rights-based approaches to health care. Relevant materials about this approach can be found here.