Blogs

World TB Day 2016: ACTION Unites to End TB

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In Australia, 80 MPs joined the newly formed Australia TB Caucus which was launched on March 15 in the Australian Parliament. Co-chair Warren Entsch wrote a piece on his website marking the launch. ACTION media-trained TB advocate Lusiana Aprilawati of Indonesia, who also spoke at the event March 15th, held an extremely successful media tour with RESULTS Australia. Her story was covered by various media including SBS Radio Indonesia program, ABC News 24 The World, ABC National Radio Breakfast, the AAP, Independent community radio, and SBS Television News

GHA France’s Fanny Voitzwinkler, head of GHA France’s Brussels office, spoke on a panel March 17th at an event held by the Dutch Presidency of the EU in honor of World TB Day where she pushed for EU political leadership to ensure sustainable transition in the Eastern European and Central Asian region (see press release and editorial in the Pan European Network). Fanny followed up on this conversation on March 24 at an event with STOP AIDS UK in London to draw attention to the withdrawal of donor support from the region.

In Lyon, GHA France supported a high level event on health security co-hosted by Jacob Zuma and François Hollande. In his closing speech Hollande highlighted the key roles of the Global Fund and UNITAID in fighting TB, and stressed the importance of addressing the antimicrobial resistance threat. This event was followed by a high level event in the French Parliament on April 5 that was attended by over 100 people and hosted by three MPs who attended GHA France’s delegation to South Africa in November 2015. The event focused on the need for France to provide increased political and financial support to fight the epidemics of TB, HIV, and malaria, and the important role of the Global Fund. Notable attendees included André Vallini, France’s new Minister of Development and Francophonie, Mark Dybul, Philippe Douse-Blazy, Chair of Sidaction Pierre Bergé, former TB patient, and a local politician from a French district affected by TB. GHA France also secured an op-ed signed by the Mayor of Paris and the three Members of the French Parliament who attended the Global TB Summit in November.

Francesca Belli of ACTION Italy negotiated the publication of an op-ed by David Beckham in Vanity Fair Italy in partnership with Malaria No More UK, which focused on the importance of the Global Fund and the leadership role Italy can play in its replenishment.

RESULTS Japan participated in the first Asian Stop TB partnership forum with participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan. Participants discussed the role of NGOs to realize the End TB Strategy and agreed on a shared declaration and slogan.

ACTION partner KANCO held a breakfast meeting where the Kenyan government committed to provide an additional 20 GeneXpert machines in 2016. KANCO also had plenty of media coverage for World TB Day including a morning show on NTV, the Royal Media radio station, an op-ed by in the Daily Nation, and the QFM AM show. 

Together with the Global TB Caucus, KANCO supported five MPs from Eastern Africa to come to Nairobi and lay the groundwork for developing an African TB caucus. The MPs from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia signed a statement of commitment to increase domestic resources for TB, get African countries to implement their National Strategic Plans, and address the challenges of drug resistant TB, pediatric TB, research, and access to drugs and diagnostics. TB_Caucus.png

RESULTS Korea gathered support for the Global Fund through letters to MPs and President Park from community leaders, including 22 letters from Church leaders, 2 from NGOs, and 5 from University professors. 

RESULTS UK organized three events in the UK Parliament over March 22 and 23rd which were attended by 12 MPs, 2 government minsters, as well as civil servants from DFID, among others. These events included a high level dinner briefing Parliament chaired by Nick Herbert, a panel discussion on TB in the UK, and a panel discussion on the international response to TB. RESULTS UK also drafted an oral question that was asked in the House of Commons one week before World TB Day which called on the Government to ensure strong pledge to the Global Fund, given its important role in fighting TB. On World TB Day they issued a press release asking the UK government for a £1.2 billion pledge to the Global Fund. RESULTS UK also had some major success on twitter; through their Parliamentary network, RESULTS UK got Prime Minister David Cameron to tweet on World TB Day. The Minister for Public Health followed suit and Minister for State for International Development retweeted highlights of the Parliamentary event. Additionally, RESULTS UK grassroots had a booth at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s World TB Day Symposium, where they called on researchers to sign a letter to DFID calling for increased investment in the Global Fund. 

RESULTS Educational Fund in the US held meetings with three members of Congress, briefed seven members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and held an extremely well attended event in the Senate on March 23 featuring four TB survivors. REF also supported the USAID TB awards event on March 17 which was attended by 300 people and included speakers Dr. Jim Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani, Mr. Nauman Rana, and Dr. Lucica Ditiu. Additionally, REF held a very successful media tour with ACTION media trainee Loyce Maturu which included editorials  and columns in the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Stamford Advocate; Op-eds in the Houston Chronicle, Tahoma Weekly, Orlando Sentinel, Greenville News, and Ashville Citizen Times; feature stories in NPR, The Mountaineer, Blue Ridge Now, and Montpelier Bridge, Brattleboro Reformer and The Western Carolinian; and at least 20 Letters to the Editor across the country.

ACTION’s Zambian partner CITAM+ helped to organize a march at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) with close to 500 attendees. The march, which was attended by Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a Danish MP, and the Zambian Minister of Higher Education focused on the need to increase funding for the Global Fund, with special pressure on Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands, whom CITAM+ held side meetings with to push the importance of the Global Fund in fighting TB.