School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai
The EQUI-TB is a collaborative network set up in 2001 between Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University College London Medical School, China, Malawi and Zambia to exchange information, ideas and skills training in the field of tuberculosis. The fourth collaborative meeting was held in Shanghai, China in November 2003 and allowed partners to share the outputs achieved to date and disseminate the results of the operational researches done in different partner sites, drafted year 4 work plans and discussed the EQUI-TB knowledge development, practices and experiences. Many research activities have been conducted to spread EQUI-TB knowledge findings to health providers and vulnerable groups including rural people in poverty, prisoners and urban floating populations. The programme has focused on improving the access to TB care for vulnerable populations, strengthening the capacity building among health providers in different levels of health care and providing information on equity in access to TB care for policy makers. Furthermore, broad and deep collaborations among the partner countries have been created since the initiation of the EQUI -TB programme. EQUI - TB has continued working with national TB control programmes and developed collaborative research between partner countries. It is expected that in the fourth year of the programme, more effort will be put in to explore the risk factors of the poor access to TB care among vulnerable groups, and to promote implementation of pro-poor strategies, which enhance care and support for TB care among the poorest.