TB remains not only the world’s leading infectious-disease in low- and middle-income countries, but also the overall leading cause of death among people living with HIV (PLHIV), accounting for around 30% of AIDS-related deaths. This inevitably emphasises the importance of a strong political will and high level commitment to the fight against TB.
The Global TB Caucus also exists to improve the political profile of TB, moving it up the global, regional and national agenda of high level TB stakeholders with the ultimate goal of ending it altogether.
Over the years, there has been steady progress towards achieving this goal thanks to the efforts of National TB Caucuses. These are platforms established in countries with the support of CSOs, representatives, and partners to sustain the goal of ending TB.
The Chad National TB Caucus was launched in November 2019, with patronage and commitment from stakeholders including the Minister of Public Health, the President of the National Assembly of Chad, the support and participation from the Global TB Caucus Secretariat, and member of the Executive committee of the Caucus, Senator Dr. Pierre Flambeau Ngayap. Since then, parliamentary engagement continues to grow and progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to end TB by 2030.
The commitments and efforts of MPs and stakeholders in Chad could be linked to the successes recorded thus far, such as being listed by the WHO in June 2021, less than two years after the Chad National TB Caucus was established. This was amongst countries like Angola, Ghana and Papua New Guinea; all of whom transitioned out of the list of the 30 highest TB/HIV countries.
Most recently, the government of Chad also reassured stakeholders of the goodwill and high level commitment of the country to provide technical and financial support to partners, for a sufficiently coordinated response towards ending TB in the country. This progress was articulated in a declaration made by the Honourable Minister of Public Health and National Solidarity (Dr. Abdel-Madjid Abderahim Mahamat) during a press conference on 23rd March 2022, ahead of World TB Day 2022 (March 24).
Aside from being a demonstration of commitment, the press conference served as a platform to recount the successes, challenges, and efforts of the country; including decisive and appropriate measures that maintain essential TB control services during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also discussing the substantial resources allocated to improve the quality of TB services.
Some of these resources include: the introduction of new technologies that are capable of screening sensitive and drug-resistant tuberculosis, COVID-19, the viral load in People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and the rapid diagnosis of HIV in children.
This declaration is going to be distributed across all of Chad, subject to follow up actions at all levels, and it was also televised on Chad National Television, further emphasising its significance and the willingness of Chad’s people to #endTB.
In working to better our health care and consider those affected by TB, not only have we improved our situation and reduced the TB burden considerably, we have also taken significant strides towards meeting the SDG to end TB by 2030. In all our efforts, we hope we serve as an example to work united, and work inclusively.
For those interested in viewing the declaration as televised on Chad National TV (TeleChad), you may view it here: https://youtu.be/wlWSrxw_OYo
The declaration itself can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gCXndJK03Hg6g_0mFzYMWkLSRqG_sDhe/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=117770961210630843446&rtpof=true&sd=true
Photo Credits to Steve Johnson