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TB Notes 4, 2003
The Stop TB Partnership at the World Health Organization
This article first appeared in the August/September 2003 edition
of the TBI Monthly Update, a publication of the Tuberculosis Initiative
at Princeton Project 55 (viewable online at http://www.project55.org/tbi.html.
It was written by Nina Jenkins-Johnston, a Princeton senior majoring
in the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs.
In the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs
(WWS), I have chosen to focus my studies on domestic and international
health policy. During my junior year, my first independent project
focused on efforts to reduce black infant mortality in New Jersey,
and the second looked at efforts to combat diarrhea in children
in rural areas of West Africa. After completing both of these projects,
I decided that I wanted to get a real feel for what it was like
to work in the international sector and to see what efforts were
being made to improve global health. With the help of Dr. Richard
Fluck, a visiting professor at Princeton from Franklin and Marshall
College, I was able to obtain an internship with the Stop TB Partnership.
The Stop TB Partnership is a public-private sector partnership
housed at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Its mission is to help combat the growing TB epidemic worldwide.
The Stop TB Partnership is dedicated to its efforts particularly
because TB affects one third of the world's population and kills
two million people each year, despite the fact that it can be effectively
cured with proper treatment. The Partnership currently has more
than 100 members all over the world. One of its major challenges
is to set up an information distribution system that would enable
all members to benefit from the expertise, tools, and activities
for the collective partnership. The Partnership expressed an interest
in having an intern who would assist the Information Manager at
During my 6 weeks at the Partnership, I was mainly involved in the
development of an online TB information center for the new Stop
TB Web site. There was a need to create a comprehensive, well-structured
center where health professionals and others involved in TB-related
work could obtain research and educational materials. My supervisor
and I worked with two organizations: Healthlink Worldwide and Source.
Healthlink is a small information management NGO based in London,
and Source is an international information support center designed
to strengthen the management, use, and impact of information on
health. The Partnership is hoping to contract with Healthlink for
the ongoing administration of the TB resource center. Together with
representatives from Healthlink, I helped develop mock-up pages
of how to structure the resource center so that information could
be posted and retrieved by users in the most navigable way.
In addition to my tasks as an assistant to the information manager,
I also worked with the Stop TB Partnership's Communications and
Advocacy team to prepare for the second Stop TB Partners' Forum
meeting in New Delhi in December 2003. The first Partners' Forum
meeting took place in Washington, DC, in October 2001 and was a
milestone in the global effort to control TB. It brought together
200 participants from around the world, including representatives
from 18 of the 22 high-burden countries. The forum in New Delhi
this December is a follow-up to the first meeting. In preparation
for this meeting, I helped the Communications and Advocacy team
compile a comprehensive media contact list for the six official
WHO regions. I also helped update the online directory of all the
partners in the Partnership. This latter task was the first step
toward creating a searchable CD-ROM for the 2003 forum that would
contain complete and updated information on all the Stop TB partners.
The CD-ROM would provide contact information, addresses, and descriptions
of what area of TB the partner was involved in.
At the end of the internship, I was asked to present my work to
all the staff at the Partnership. Working at the Stop TB Partnership
was a rewarding experience. It enabled me to gain insight into the
many challenges that international organizations face in their efforts
to control global health epidemics. It was certainly quite encouraging
to actually witness and be a part of these efforts. This year I
will be working with the Stop TB Partnership and the Woodrow Wilson
School to ensure that other students interested in health policy
are able to benefit from such an experience.
For more information about the Partnership please visit http://www.stoptb.org/.
—Submitted by Nina Jenkins-Johnston
Princeton University Class of 2004