PeerLINC Knowledge Hub Launched in Manila

The newly inaugurated PeerLINC Knowledge Hub in Manila is poised to harness local expertise and experience to catalyze the adoption of advanced and more efficacious cures for tuberculosis (TB) on a global scale. Central to its mission is the promotion of new treatments that have demonstrated remarkable success in combating drug-resistant TB, as evidenced by an impressive 98% cure rate among Filipino participants. With generous support from the Australian Government’s Partnerships for a Healthy Region initiative, PeerLINC operates through a collaborative effort between TB Alliance, the Tropical Disease Foundation, Inc. (TDF), and the Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines. Through a commitment to sharing best practices and facilitating the swift dissemination of knowledge, PeerLINC is dedicated to expediting the adoption of innovative treatments worldwide, starting with the WHO-recommended BPaL/M regimens.

In addition to practical training and technical support, PeerLINC will offer guidance from Filipino experts and health institutions such as the Lung Center of the Philippines and the National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL). Leveraging the success of the TB Alliance’s Leveraging Innovation for Faster TB Treatment (LIFT-TB) initiative in the Philippines, PeerLINC aims to build upon existing achievements in deploying new treatments.

Dr. Mamel Quelapio, a member of TDF’s Board of Trustees and Programmatic Implementation Lead at PeerLINC, underscores the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences with the BPaL/M regimens. She highlights the pivotal role played by the DOH in partnership with TDF and TB Alliance in driving improved treatment outcomes for patients.

The BPaL/M regimens, consisting of various antibiotics, have been endorsed by the WHO as the standard of care for the majority of individuals with drug-resistant TB. These regimens represent a significant advancement over previous treatment options, which were often burdensome, toxic, and less effective. The success of these new regimens has been underscored by data indicating high treatment success rates and reduced pill burdens.

TB Alliance’s LIFT-TB initiative has played an important role in accelerating the adoption of the BPaL/M regimens in several countries, including the Philippines, where it has reported a remarkable 98% cure rate. Despite the progress made, some countries have been slower in implementing these regimens. PeerLINC aims to address this gap by drawing upon the expertise and experiences of early implementers to assist other countries in their adoption efforts.

One of the highlights of the event was when Mr. Joegen Mangilaya, Media Officer of TBpeople Philippines, eloquently conveyed the organization’s journey, advocacy, and projects, representing President Louie Zepeda-Teng. Additionally, Mangilaya courageously shared his journey battling tuberculosis, shedding light on the experiences he employed to overcome this challenge.

TBpeople Philippines expresses gratitude to TDF and TB Alliance for the opportunity to participate in the launch event of the PeerLINC Knowledge Hub. Their involvement underscores the importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in combating TB on a global scale. Through PeerLINC, TBpeople Philippines remains committed to supporting efforts to improve TB treatment outcomes and save lives. PeerLINC will provide comprehensive support to TB programs, clinicians, lab specialists, and community organizations through peer-to-peer learning models. Training sessions will be conducted both in-person and remotely, ensuring widespread access to critical knowledge and resources. As PeerLINC embarks on its mission, it stands poised to transform the landscape of TB treatment worldwide, offering hope and healing to individuals affected by this devastating disease.

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