Project of Latvian WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Management of Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) was started in year 1999 as a cooperation project of State Agency of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Latvian National Tuberculosis program established an International Training Centre (ITC), which was devoted to the treatment and management of MDR-TB. With sophisticated clinical and research personnel and a state of the art laboratory, the ITC was opened in 2000 and functions as TB care facility and training centre. In November 2004, WHO honored the ITC by awarding it the prestigious status of a WHO Collaborating Centre with the objectives of providing high quality, evidence-based capacity development at all levels (individual, organizational and institutional), drawing on worldwide evidence and in line with the latest developments and WHO guidance. Capacity development activities are structured according to the latest scientific developments in practical aspects of the treatment and management of DR-TB.
At present WHO CC Latvia is a structural part in the Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Centre of Riga East University hospital. Administrative work of WHO CC Latvia is carried out in collaboration with NGO Latvian Society against Tuberculosis.
Faculcy of WHO CC involves more than 20 experts, clinicans, scientists. WHO CC Latvia regularly cooperates with international organisations and projects to engage in training activities experts from the field and provide high level, evidence based up-to-date training.
Objectives of WHO CC Latvia are:
1. In collaboration with WHO headquarter and WHO Regional office for Europe to provide up to date, high quality, evidence based training and education for health care workers to successfully implement and sustain the key challenges in TB control of the End TB Strategy, MDR-TB including XDR-TB, TB/HIV, bacteriological aspects and laboratory strengthening, infection control etc., in line with the post-2015 global strategy and Regional policy frameworks.
2. To collaborate with the WHO Working Group on MDR-TB, and WHO/Europe’s Green Light Committee (GLC), promote the implementation of WHO guidelines of the MDR-TB strategies through training activities, consultations and technical assistance to National TB Programmes, in line with the post-2015 global strategy and Regional policy frameworks.
3. To participate in collaborative research under WHO leadership on new TB drug development and laboratory diagnostic methods, in line with the post-2015 global strategy and Regional policy frameworks.
4. To share the WHO CC’s experience with the TB community in the Region, in in line with the post-2015 global strategy and Regional policy frameworks.
In 2017 WHO CC Latvia was redesignated by WHO until year 2021.