The conference began with a 3-day research seminar in Bahir Dar, entitled “The Cradle of TB” after the recent discovery of an ancient lineage of TB in Ethiopia. More than 65 scientists, university professors and lecturers, government officials, TB control programme managers and experts took part, together with other non-governmental organizations from Ethiopia, Norway, Sudan, South-Sudan and France.
A starting point for the conference was the implementation of the EvoTB project, a project studying the relationship between genetic tuberculosis strain variants and severity of tuberculosis disease in the Amhara region of Ethiopia and in Sudan and South Sudan.
Lectures and interactive group discussion sessions were used to update participants about TB epidemiology, genomics, diagnostic health information systems and how to conduct operational research. The seminar helped to encourage networking and efficient knowledge exchange among the participants.
The participants found the seminar to be very “informative, fruitful and participatory, giving them the chance to share ideas and strengthen collaboration to control TB transmission in the three countries.” The event was covered by several media outlets, and a 15 minute seminar programme was shown on national television in Ethiopia.
The seminar and training were sponsored by the Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Oslo University Hospital.