ACTION partner RESULTS UK organized a Parliamentary Delegation to Kenya in September 2005. The Members of Parliament (MPs) went on site visits to a number of TB and TB-HIV programs. They were given opportunities to discuss issues in great detail directly with patients, health workers, NGOs, the Kenyan Ministry of Health and representatives from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Kenya.
In coordination with the delegation, activists back in the UK wrote to DFID country offices in Kenya and other high TB burden countries in Africa to request information about DFID’s response to the TB emergency in their particular country.
As a result of the delegation and letters, TB has been put higher up on the political agenda both in the UK Parliament, by the MPs who were on the delegation, and in Kenya, where the UK MPs and letter-writing activists asked tough questions about TB control programs there.
After the delegation, there was increased media coverage on TB in the MPs’ districts, and the UK MPs established the first All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis (APPG), tabled oral and written questions on TB and the Global Fund in Parliament, and organized a debate on “TB in the Developing World” in the House of Commons.
In Her Own Words:
“The whole experience has really brought home what people in Kenya lack and that TB is not a priority. Everyone we discussed TB with has always had it at the bottom of the list and we have to bring it into the discussion. I think there is a huge job to do in terms of raising TB as an issue at home and with DFID generally. The visit [is] so worthwhile in terms of making parliamentarians aware of what's happening here.” - Julie Morgan, UK Member of Parliament for Cardiff North, Labour Party