On May 9, 2017 in Tagaytay, Philippines, public health professionals from the National Tuberculosis Program, Lung Center of the Philippines, National TB Reference Laboratory, and regional offices and hospitals participated in the first of a seven-day TREAT TB Operational Research training course in the country. The training course was led by MDR-TB expert and The Union Consultant, Dr. Chen-Yuan Chiang. The course supports the Philippines Department of Health’s strategy to intensify research and innovation among public health practitioners and researchers in its bid to end TB in the country.

This course aims to facilitate theoretical and practical skills of participants in undertaking the entire operational research process from conceptualization of a research question, to data analysis, and publication. The participants learn and share knowledge within a team of motivated participants and talented facilitators in operational research, who also serve as mentors, from different countries. 

Building capacity of public health professionals will help the National TB Program achieve its goals, particularly national scale-up of the Standard Short Treatment Regimen (SSTR) for MDR-TB. Operational research on the shorter treatment regimen and other priority areas has the potential to provide key insights on programmatic and clinical management of patients with MDR-TB, improve TB-control, and strengthen the country’s capacity to successfully conduct operational research to improve programs.

The six teams in this course will each develop a research protocol, implement their study, and draft a manuscript for publication. Course participants will continue to receive mentorship from facilitators through an online module and a second in-person session in 2018.