Capacity building for international tuberculosis control through operations research training

K. F. Laserson, N. J. Binkin, L. E. Thorpe, R. Laing, M. F. Iademarco, A. Bloom, T. B. Agerton, L. Nelson, J. P. Cegielski, O. Ferroussier, T. Holtz, E. Vitek, V. Gammino, K. Tan, A. Finlay, P. Dewan, A. Miranda, G. Aquino, K. Weyer, D. N. SyA. Vernon, J. Becerra, J. Ershova, C. D. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SETTING: In resource-poor countries, few tuberculosis (TB) program staff at the national, provincial, and even district levels have the basic analytical and epidemiological skills necessary for collecting and analyzing quality data pertaining to national TB control program (NTP) improvements. This includes setting program priorities, operations planning, and implementing and evaluating program activities. OBJECTIVES: To present a model course for building capacity in basic epidemiology and operations research (OR). DESIGN: A combination of didactic lectures and applied field exercises were used to achieve the main objectives of the 6-day OR course. These were to increase the understanding of quantitative and qualitative research concepts, study design, and analytic methods, and to increase awareness of how these methods apply to the epidemiology and control of TB; and to demonstrate the potential uses of OR in answering practical questions on NTP effectiveness. As a final outcome, course participants develop OR proposals that are funded and later implemented. RESULTS: Since 1997, this OR course has been conducted nine times in five countries; 149 key NTP and laboratory staff have been trained in OR methods, and 44 OR protocols have been completed or are underway. CONCLUSION: This low-cost model course can be adapted to a wide range of public health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Capacity building
  • Epidemiology
  • Operations research
  • Training
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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