Members of Parliament from Asia Pacific come together to discuss political engagement on TB
This year, the fifth meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health (APPFGH) was held on the 22nd of August in Nadi, Fiji. Alongside the meeting, the Global TB Caucus organised a gathering to provide parliamentarians with a contextualised overview of the United Nations High Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB targets, and give them an opportunity to discuss key factors and areas for cooperation therein. With the support from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services of Fiji, the Global TB Caucus also hosted a breakfast meeting for MPs from the Pacific Islands to start discussing the launch of a Pacific Islands TB Caucus.
The 30 member countries of the APPFGH are home to over 2.2 billion people, approximately 30% of the world’s population and 30% of the global TB burden. It is therefore crucial that member countries in the region are actively engaged in ensuring global targets are met, and national and regional measures are in place to assure the accountability of it. There were nearly 3 million new people infected with TB in the Asia Pacific region in 2017, and over 250,000 people died from the disease.
While the theme of the meeting this year was centred on climate change, the Global TB Caucus co-hosted a TB-focused side-meeting and a breakfast meeting for members from the Pacific Islands during the Forum, in coordination with the WHO WPRO. The meeting, which gathered around 30 MPs, was the first of a series that will run alongside each subsequent Forum meeting until countries of the region have met the 2022 UN HLM targets.