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Assessing the Impact of the Fogarty HIV-TB Training Program at the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College, Pune, India
This study was funded by the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Johns Hopkins University was funded in 2013 to establish a new post-doctoral training program in HIV-TB epidemiology, clinical and laboratory research, for junior faculty of the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College (BJGMC) in Pune, India, called the BJGMC-JHU Fogarty HIV-TB Training Program. India has >20 percent of the global burden of active tuberculosis (TB) and an estimated 40% of its population of 1.2 billion has latent TB infection (LTBI). Furthermore, drug resistant TB (MDRTB and XDRTB) is increasing worldwide and India is estimated to have a substantial burden of drug resistant TB, but reliable data about the burden of and risk factors for drug-resistant TB in India are limited. Despite India’s national TB control program and researchers who have made many strides to control and study TB in India, a recent NIH delegation to assess TB research efforts in India, which included a site visit to BJGMC, identified the need for expanded HIV-TB research capacity. Such capacity would expand the ability to study important clinical research questions, such as epidemiological questions focused on risk of development of active TB, TB transmission dynamics, response to treatment, and long-term outcomes of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB among patients living with HIV.
At the end of this 5-year training program, our objective was to have established a core group of BJGMC faculty, who will be recognized institutional leaders in HIV-TB research (The BJGMC HIV-TB Research Leadership Team). Building institutional capacity for HIV-TB research at BJGMC required the identification, recruitment and retention of interested junior and mid-level faculty, who demonstrated a sufficient commitment to their own research careers, but also a commitment to research collaboration and mentoring within the institution.
In 2014 we conducted an internal review (approved by the BJ IRB) to establish a robust baseline of existing capacity among the BJGMC faculty to do TB research. In addition to survey data from a wide variety of stakeholders, we interviewed TB research experts (representing the region, India, and the international community) as key informants who assessed the current strengths of BJGMC faculty, and the barriers to becoming a center of excellence for TB research.
We now propose to complete that evaluation by sending the survey to our research networks, and conducting in-depth key informant interviews to understand whether the program has had the impact we expected.