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Dr. Ricardo A. Arcêncio

Title: Impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis prevention and control in Brazil: Analysis of social protection policies, epidemiological situation, and technology incorporation (CoV-TB Project – BRAZIL) Lead Investigator: Dr. Ricardo A. Arcêncio

Brazil is on the list of affected countries in which, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of TB are challenging. Treatment success among those diagnosed is slightly more than 70%. COVID-19 has turned the situation even more critical by dismantling policies aimed at confronting the disease, the stress generated within health services, and changes in the epidemiology of TB in the Brazilian context. Essential strategies such as DOTS, which were successful in controlling the disease have had their activities suspended. The inclusion of TB in the political agenda has been questionable by Social Movements, and their actions may have had a portentous effect in protecting families affected by TB. Technological innovations are needed by TB health services, to monitor people affected by the disease remotely. However, many professionals found themselves without this resource. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on TB prevention and control. The project is structured in three domains: Domain 1: Policy approach: interviews will be conducted with key informants from institutions, management of social movements, and collection of official documents, with subsequent triangulation. In Domain 2: Epidemiologic evaluation: A survey of TB data and COVID-19 to conform the cohorts and thus evaluate the real impact of the pandemic impact on TB. In Domain 3: digital technology impact assessment: users with TB (using the VDOT system) in some municipalities of the five macro-regions will be selected based on Domain 2. The vDOT will be verified and the impact of vDOT on adherence and care will be assessed. This project is being sponsored by CNPQ – The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) in Brazil.