The Unitaid-funded KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation-led ASCENT project will pass on the implementation of digital adherence technology (DAT) to the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in 2023. PBSP will expand the use of the smart pillbox, one of the digital adherence tools, for tuberculosis (TB) treatment in the Philippines. To jumpstart the scale-up, KNCV is providing technical support to PBSP.
Through the Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), PBSP is set to offer the use of the said DAT to drug-resistant TB patients in more than 200 programmatic management of drug-resistant TB (PMDT) facilities across the country in 2023. To help PBSP get off to a good start, KNCV is deploying the two in-country technical staff members of the ASCENT project from January to March 2023 to:
- provide inputs to planning the scale-up;
- support the training of PMDT field implementation staff;
- facilitate coordination between and among PBSP and the Department of Health (DOH), KNCV, and Everwell;
- and ensure that the adherence platform and the smart pillbox are fully functional and ready for use by the PMDT facilities.
Anticipating the expanded use of the smart pillbox in 2023, the ASCENT technical staff and three DAT-trained information technology specialists from the DOH Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service trained four personnel of the DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development (CHD 3) on the use of DAT in December 2022. In addition, four PBSP project officers assigned to handle the C19RM DAT scale-up trained on the use of DAT on 13 January 2023.
The trained staff of DOH CHD 3 and PBSP are expected to provide technical support, including basic trouble shooting, to health facilities that will start or continue using the smart pillbox. They will also roll out the DAT training among DOH-NTP regional and provincial Integrated Tuberculosis Information System (ITIS) representatives.