On Friday, 20 October 2017, the Tuberculosis Network Clinical Trials group TBnet and Research Center Borstel hosted an international Symposium on MDR-TB in Europe, concluding a project aimed at strengthening the cooperation between Armenia and Germany in the fight against Tuberculosis (TB).LINQ management prepared and organized the event, which brought together 50 TB experts from all over Europe, including a representative from the Armenian Ministry of Health and eight physicians and scientists from Armenia, who had spent four-week observerships at several institutions and medical clinics in Germany.
The Symposium featured talks describing the work of TBnet and the Doctors Without Borders Programme in Armenia as well as presentations by TB experts on specific topics, such as the level of drug-resistance in M/XDR-TB in Europe, the impact of molecular drug resistance testing on M/XDR-TB control in Europe, new drugs for treatment and HIV coinfection in M/XDR-TB in Europe.
In addition, all Armenian participants of the observership programme presented the highlights of their stay in Germany, describing the benefits of the experience as well as important lessons learned and how they intend to translate the newly acquired knowledge into their work in their home country. It became apparent that the observership programme, which was officially concluded with the Symposium in Borstel, had been a very fruitful initiative, which will lead not only to valuable input for future work in the fight against TB but also to strengthened ties between German and Armenian TB experts.
The overall project, comprising a four-day TBnet Academy held in Yerevan earlier this year, the four-week observerships and the Symposium on MDR-TB in Europe were funded by the German Ministry of Health (BMG). In addition to the organization of the Symposium, LINQ were also supporting the implementation of the observership programme.
Due to the success of this project, all partners involved agreed that they are now determined to sustain and expand the bilateral cooperation between German and Armenian TB experts, potentially leading to new projects in the future.