TB-Speed Research Project National Symposium

PHNOM PENH: On the occasion of the “TB-Speed Research Project” National Symposium for the Restitution of Results in Phnom Penh, the French Embassy had the pleasure to host a cocktail reception at the Residence of France on the 5th of July 2022.

Tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.5 million people per year. Tuberculosis claims more lives annually than malaria and HIV combined. Of the nearly 2 billion people around the world estimated to have latent tuberculosis, approximately 10 million of them will develop active TB every year, of which 1 million are children. All over the world children continue to die of TB because they were not diagnosed and not treated.

Although Cambodia has made remarkable strides against TB, reducing by over 25% the incidence of TB between 2015 and 2020, there are still over 45,000 TB cases per year, of which 22% are under 14 years old.

The TB-Speed Research Project aims to reduce TB mortality in children by improving diagnosis. It was deployed between 2017 and 2022 in seven limited-resources countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis: Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia.

Some preliminary results of the project have already been shared with the scientific community and contributed to the revisions of the WHO Technical Guide and Operational Manual for TB published in March 2022.

The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and the Cambodian National Tuberculosis Program, together with the TB-Speed consortium are organizing a national restitution symposium of the TB-Speed Project results in the presence of His Excellency the Professor MAM Bunheng, Minister of Health.

The TB-Speed Research project is funded by Unitaid, Initiative-Expertise France, and ANRS|Emerging infectious diseases. Global health is a priority for France. Looking at the main funders of the project TB-SPEED underlines France’s commitment to global health: Unitaid (France has co-founded Unitaid, this multilateral agency supporting innovations in health and is the first donor), L’Initiative (L’Initiative is a French facility complementary to the Global Funds) and ANRS (ANRS is a French research agency focusing on emerging infectious diseases).

The French Embassy is highly committed to the health sector in Cambodia, for example through its scholarship program in medical studies or the funding of international experts to support key health organizations.

It was only natural for the French Embassy to host a cocktail reception to celebrate this major symposium dedicated to tuberculosis research. The reception has gathered 60 people, bringing together TB-Speed stakeholders and other major health actors.

Photo by: The French Embassy in Phnom Penh