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Global Fund Awards FIND $37M for TB Dx in India

NEW YORK – The Global Fund has granted FIND $37 million to support three projects aimed at improving tuberculosis diagnosis and control in India, the two parties announced on Thursday.

The investment is expected to renew focus on early diagnosis to guide appropriate TB treatment by optimizing TB diagnostic capacity and improving lab quality and data management across India's public sector laboratory network.

The grant will also strengthen capacity for genome sequencing for TB surveillance and expand laboratory capacity for drug-resistant TB treatment monitoring at a district level, the Global Fund and FIND said.

More specifically, it supports three projects — Strengthening Health Systems for Sustainable Access to Quality Diagnosis Toward TB Elimination in India, or SHAQTI; the Joint Effort for Elimination of TB, or JEET; and Amplifying Community Action for TB Elimination, also called Unite to ACT. The three projects are expected to run through 2024.

"As India is grappling with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need, more than ever, to continue supporting the country to advance tuberculosis prevention and control," said Eliud Wandwalo, head of tuberculosis at the Global Fund, in a statement.

Cases in India comprise one quarter of the global TB burden. Lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic led to reduced access to care and reduced diagnosis of TB cases, which could potentially result in higher mortality over the next five years, the Global Fund and FIND noted.