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TB Research Community Must Engage Patients, Advocates In Research, Policy Activities

HuffPost: We Need To Science The Shit Out Of Tuberculosis
Madhukar Pai, professor & director of Global Health at McGill University

“…For too long, TB patients and care providers have been fighting a protracted battle with antiquated, inefficient tools … While we wait for new tools, we must scale-up the best tools we already have. … But research is not just product development. … And science is not just about researchers. … [F]or TB research to have an impact, we must engage two stakeholders that have been on the sidelines: The first group is TB researchers and care providers in low- and middle-income countries. … The second group is TB patients and advocates. … [W]e must create space for TB survivors and advocates to speak at scientific conferences and publish in mainstream journals. We must seek their help designing and conducting studies, and empower them to serve on ethics and policy committees. As we have seen with the HIV epidemic, when patients advocate for R&D, they are invariably more powerful and impactful than scientists” (6/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.