(Building of SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre, Thimi, Bhaktapur, Nepal)
SAARC Tuberculosis Centre (STC) was established in 1992. The Centre started its functioning as SAARC TB Centre in 1994. The Centre had been supporting the National TB Control Programmes of the SAARC Member States. The Thirty–first session of Standing Committee of SAARC held in Dhaka on November 09th – 10th 2005, appreciating the efforts of the centre on TB/HIV co-infection and other works related to HIV/AIDS discipline and approved the renaming of the Centre as SAARC Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Centre (STAC). The Centre, with its efforts and its effective networking has been recognized by the Member States as a Centre contributing significantly for TB and HIV/AIDS control.
History of STAC
The second meeting of the Foreign Ministers of SAARC Member Countries held at Male in July 1984 suggested for formulation of specific projects pertaining to one of the five disease control areas identified by working group of health & population activities. Accordingly, a proposal for establishment of the SAARC TB Centre in Nepal was submitted. The Technical Committee at its eighth meeting held in Colombo from 16 to 18 July 1990 considered the proposal. The Standing Committee at its thirteenth session held at Male from 16 to 17 November 1990 decided that a revised proposal on the regional centre for Tuberculosis be prepared by Nepal. Accordingly SAARC TB Centre (STC) established in 1992 and later renamed as SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre (STAC).
SAARC TB AND HIV/AIDS CENTRE (STAC) BE THE LEADING INSTITUTE TO SUPPORT AND GUIDE SAARC MEMBER STATES TO MAKE THE REGION FREE OF TB AND HIV/AIDS.
The Mission of the SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre is to support the efforts of National TB and HIV/AIDS Control Programmes through evidence based policy guidance, coordination and
The goal of the SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre is to minimize the mortality and morbidity due to TB and HIV/AIDS in the Region and to minimize the transmission of both infections until
TB and HIV/AIDS cease to be major public health problems in the SAARC Region.
The objective of STAC is to work for prevention and control of TB HIV/AIDS in the Region by coordinating the efforts of the National TB Programmes and National HIV/AIDS Programmes of the SAARC Member Countries.
Functions of STAC
- To act as a Regional Co-ordination Centre for National Tuberculosis Control Programmes and National HIV/AIDS Control Programmes in the Region.
- To promote and coordinate action for the prevention of TB/HIV co-infection in the Region.
- To collect, collate, analyze and disseminate all relevant information regarding the latest development and findings in the field of Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the Region and elsewhere.
- To establish a networking arrangement among the National Tuberculosis Programmes and National AIDS Control Programmes of Member Countries and to conduct surveys, researches etc.
- To initiate, undertake and coordinate the Research and Training in Technical Bio-medical, operational and other aspects related to Tuberculosis Control Programmes & HIV/AIDS Control Programmes in the Region.
- To monitor incidence, prevalence and emergence of drug resistant strains of Tuberculosis in the Region.
- To assist Member Countries for harmonization of policies and strategies on TB, HIV/AIDS and TB/HIV co-infection.
- To assist National TB Reference Laboratories in the Region in quality assurance of sputum microscopy and standardization of culture and drug sensitivity testing and implementation of bio-safety measures.
- To carryout other important works identified by the Programming Committees and Governing Board.
The Governing Board
The Centre has a Governing Board consisting of 11 Members, as below:
- One representative from each SAARC Member States———————————- 8
- Representative from SAARC Secretariat ————————————————- 1
- Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal——— 1
- Director of STAC (Member Secretary) ————————————————— 1
Meeting of the Governing Board
The Governing Board meets once in a year to plan the programmes and budget for the coming year and review the progress of the previous year. The first meeting of the Board was held from 24-25 March 1992 in Kathmandu, which adopted the first rules and regulations for smooth functioning of the Centre.
|No. of meeting||Dates of meeting held|
|1st||24-25 Mar. 1992|
|2nd||21-22 Apr. 1993|
|3rd||8-9 Feb. 1994|
|4th||31 Jan-1 Feb. 1995|
|5th||12-14 Mar. 1996|
|6th||7-8 Jan. 1997|
|7th||26-27 Oct. 1997|
|8th||22-23 Dec. 1998|
|9th||27-28 Oct. 1999|
|10th||27-28 Feb. 2001|
|11th||20-21 Nov. 2001|
|12th||18-19 Nov. 2002|
|13th||23-24 Oct. 2003|
|14th||9-10 Nov. 2004|
|15th||5-6 Oct. 2005|
|16th||4-5 Dec. 2006|
|17th||27-28 Nov. 2007|
|18th||25-26 Sept. 2008|
|19th||28-29 Oct. 2009|
|20th||23-24 Sept 2010|
|21st||21-22 Sept. 2011|
|22nd||11-12 Oct. 2012|
|23rd||7- 8 Nov. 2013|
|24th and 25th
|23 – 24 Sept. 2014 and 18 – 19 Dec. 2015
11– 12 Jan. 2017
Staffing of the Centre
Staff of SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre
|Director is the Head of the Centre and supported by the Deputy Director, Professionals and the General Services Staff|
|Strength of the Centre is as follows:|
|General Services Staff||19|
Activities of the Centre
The Centre organizes Trainings, Workshops, Seminars, Meetings, conducts Research on TB and HIV/AIDS, publishes the documents (epidemiological reports, journals, newsletter etc.) disseminates the information and carries out any related activities identified by the Governing Board
The overall objective of the training is to impart and/or strengthen the managerial skills necessary to manage the NTPs and NACPs. Training is a major component among the different activities of the Centre. The Centre is conducting at least one training programme every year.
The SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre provides platform for interaction, sharing experiences and new findings of research, implement policies and strategies in order to implement effective and successful TB and HIV/AIDS control in the Region.
Through this medium, TB and HIV/AIDS control programme managers could produce relevant, important and effective material to help National TB Control Programmes as well as National AIDS Control Programmes.
Meetings on different technical issues of the TB and HIV/AIDS control programmes, its planning and policies, technical information regarding TB control and HIV/AIDS prevention are organized to take consensus decision.
Research studies on different aspects related to TB and HIV/AIDS have been carried out in SAARC Member States.
- SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors’ Programme
Facilitating implementation of SAARC Regional Strategy on HIV/AIDS; to create greater awareness on HIV/AIDS through public appearances and through mass media and to address the issues of Stigma and Discrimination prevailing in the community of SAARC Member States including mainstreaming HIV/AIDS to form part of development agenda and advocate for affordable treatment, care and support for PLHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS) SAARC had nominated SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS:
Ms. Shabana Azmi, India and Ms. Sanath Jayasurya, Sri Lanka had been appointed as SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS. Ms. Azmi visited Nepal to implemented the programme from 5th to 7th January 2009 and she visited Bhutan from 25th – 26th August 2010 as SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS.
After completion of the tenure of Ms. Azmi, SAARC appointed Ms. Runa Laila, Mr. Ajay Devgan and Ms. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy as SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS in 2 Jan. 2013. Ms. Runa Laila visited New Delhi to perform the activities as per schedule from 31 July – 03 August, 2013. (For more information, please click)
- Partnership Programme in TB and HIV/AIDS Control
TB and HIV/AIDS are serious public health problem in the Region. It is estimated that the next three to five years, 20 to 25 percent of TB cases in some part of the Region would be directly attributed to HIV. In spit of many landmark technical discoveries and long years of partially successful NTPs we could not be able to make a dent in the problem of TB and HIV/AIDS. The STAC has initiated efforts to strengthen community participation by involving new partners since 2000.
- Partnership with Students (schools/colleges)
- Partnership with Media
- Partnership with Pharmacists/Druggists
- Partnership with Medical Colleges/Private Practitioners
- Partnership with Industry workers and
- Partnership with Manpower Agency
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of SAARC with other agencies dealing TB and HIV/AIDS issues
The following MoU/MoC will support SAARC TB Centre for implementation of its activities in the Region.
- SAARC and CIDA signed a MoC for cooperation in July 1997
- SAARC and WHO signed a MoU for cooperation in August 2000, (STAC has been re-designated as WHO collaborating Centre for TB and HIV/AIDS, Research and Training for period of 4 years from 16 May 2014 to 16 May 2018)
- SAARC and UNAIDS signed a MoU for cooperation in April 2004
- SAARC and UNFPA signed a MoU for cooperation in June 2004
SAARC-Canada Regional TB and HIV/AIDS Project was formulated to strengthen the capacity of the SAARC TB Centre to support Regional and National responses to the TB and HIV/AIDS epidemic. The project started in April 2000 and completed in March 2004, which was designed for 4 years.
Collaborating Centre of WHO
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SAARC and WHO/SEARO was signed on 23 August 2000 to work collectively for TB & HIV/AIDS and to continue active collaboration with WHO and SAARC TB Centre. Subsequently WHO re-designated SAARC TB Centre (now SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre) as WHO Collaborating Centre uptill 16 May 2018 with the following terms and reference:
- To assist in training of the health care workers including Physicians and Laboratory technicians from various countries of the South-East Asia Region on Tuberculosis Control.
- To collaborate and assist in developing and in carrying out research activities relating to Tuberculosis Control in the Region.
- To provide a forum for advocacy and for facilitating inter-country collaboration among various countries of the region for Tuberculosis and HIV prevention and care,
- To act as a technical resource centre for WHO/SEARO stop TB programmes and STI/HIV initiative, particularly in the area of training and operational research relating to TB/HIV.(For more information click WHO website given below or click on the link – WHO Collaborating Centre)
Library (Resource Centre)
A library has been established as a resource centre for TB and HIV/AIDS information. Books, journals, newspapers, reports and other related publications are catalogued for the use of TB control workers, researchers, specialists, medical practitioners, students, journalists and general people who are interested in TB and HIV/AIDS control activities. The Library has an Audio Visual segment to provide the information.
- STAC Newsletter (Four monthly)
- SAARC Journal of TB, Lung Diseases and HIV/AIDS (Four monthly)
- TB in SAARC Region (an Update annually)
- HIV/AIDS in SAARC Region (an Update annually)
- Regional Strategies
- Leaflets and Pamphlets on TB and HIV/AIDS
- Annual Reports
- SAARC Directory on TB and HIV/AIDS
- Laboratory Reports
- Research Reports