ERASE-TB has successfully established Community Advisory Boards (CABs) at all three of our sites: Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
CABs are an important component of research trials and much thought has gone into their composition and their role so as to benefit both researchers and the wider community. Those who are enrolled as CAB members represent the interests of the community and serve as leaders in this important relationship, bringing questions and concerns from the community and in turn, in relaying back answers and information. The CAB is also important for disseminating the research results and ensuring those who are research participants are cared for in a correct and ethical manner. Health awareness and disease prevention is also raised within the communities as a result of their work.
The participation of CAB members offers a great opportunity for the success of ERASE-TB research to be effective and to make a real difference to the communities.
We are very grateful to all our CAB volunteers in each country.
Mozambique's CAB comprises 16 voluntary members and includes a wide range of community leaders, including a nurse, a teacher, a minister, representatives from local media, and the military. Also included are former (HIV vaccine) trial participants and other people from key HIV populations for HIV, There are members of Mozambican women's and youth organisations, as well as representatives from the LGBT and sex workers associations.
Established originally in 2012, this volunteer group meet monthly and take Good Participatory Practice refresher courses which reviews the progress of the study and the role of the CAB as well as any other pertinent matters.
In their monthly meeting on June 24th 2021, the CAB heard from ERASE team members sociologist Celina Nhamuave and Denise Banze (a researcher in the field of TB and infectious diseases) who presented the ERASE-Tb study and answered questions from the CAB members.
Our colleagues in Tanzania have the benefit of working with a diverse and well-established Community Advisory Board initially formed in 2005 during preparatory activities of the first HIV vaccine trial at the site. This indicates that the CAB is a trusted method of working with researchers and of learning more about the ERASE-TB trial.
Tanzania CAB Board members June 2021
The CAB is composed of 22 members representative of different community aspects. For example a lawyer and police officer, a youth representative, a PLHIV (also a chairperson of a CBO that fights against HIV and TB), plus religious leaders, former HIV vaccine trial participants, and community leaders (including the deputy mayor). other sections of the community are also represented.
The CAB meet every two months and discuss such matters as the progress of the ERASE-TB project, resolving mis-information rumours, and providing recommendations on recruitment and retention as well as planning future public engagement events.
Refresher courses are held annually during the first quarter of the year where the roles and responsibilities of the CAB are reviewed, as well as a variety of pre-agreed relevant topics such as TB drug research literacy or ethical review of protocols.
Refresher course, 5th June 2021
Colleagues in Zimbabwe are in the process of establishing two CABs due the magnitude of the area that the study is covering. One group has been formed and we expect the inaugural meeting to take place in the next few weeks, dependant of current COVID-19 restrictions.
More information coming soon!