The Netherlands, MP & Focal Point (KNCV) secured an additional $5M in funding for the WHO.
Anne Kuik presented a motion for extension of the PDP fund in the Netherlands for a 5-year period after 2021, with specific focus on TB drug development and diagnostics, and also outlined the concept of a Global Health Strategy for the Netherlands, both motions which were passed.
Eastern Europe/ Central Asia
A report was received from Parliamentarians in Kyrgyzstan regarding recent budget increases in TB.
A regional virtual meeting of national TB Caucuses in the EECA, WHO Euro, TBEC and STBP on assessing the implementation of multisectoral mechanisms of cooperation and accountability included representatives from Ukraine, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. Discussions included progress towards UN HLM targets, and the implementation of national MAF-TB frameworks. Outcomes include acknowledgement of the need for a high-level review body/mechanism to review the TB response and MP participation in the process, and the organisation of national level parliamentary/committee hearings on progress towards UN HLM targets.
A bilateral meeting between Moldova and Romania MPs in partnership with TBEC included civil society training on capacity-building and discussion of the delivery of UN HLM national targets.
The Global Fund approved over $135.78 million in funding in Ukraine for 2021-2023, with Head of the Ukrainian National TB Caucus, Ms Lada Bulakh, advocating for regional coordinating councils. The National Caucus also submitted a TB and COVID-19 Resolution to the Prime Minister.
Francophone/ West Africa
A meeting of the Francophone TB Caucus resulted in the publication of the Francophone Parliamentary Assembly’s Lomé Declaration, an official call to Francophone Heads of State, governments and representatives for an ambitious Global Fund replenishment.
Côte d'Ivoire held an all-party meeting with parliamentarians such as Hon Eugène Kra Kouassi, Ministries, international organizations and CSO representatives including Alliance Côte d'Ivoire to discuss the progress towards UN HLM national targets, and revision of the National Strategic Plan. A multisectoral committee was appointed for follow-up and a legal decree will be operationalised.
Minister Emilio Santelices of Chile - the 2021 Chair of the Asia Pacific Economic and Cooperation (APEC) Forum - committed to strengthen the health system in the country and align strategies in the response against the disease in the country and within APEC, and will launch a National TB Caucus.
Hon Pastor Vera Bejarano launched the Paraguay National TB Caucus along with an inter-ministerial committee on TB, to unite legislative and executive powers in the response. Initial activities include developing a national accountability mechanism.
The Health Committee of the Parlatino approved a legislation framework on TB that will be approved by the plenary in the coming months for adoption at the national level.
Anglophone/ East & Southern Africa
The Global TB Caucus, South African National AIDS Council, and the South African TB Caucus hosted a webinar for 275 people to discuss sustainability of TB services during the pandemic. Participants included South African Minister of Health Hon Dr Zweli Mkhize, GTBC Co-Chair Lord Herbert, Dr Eric Goosby, and Caucus members, civil society and partners across the region. Emphasizing initiatives supported by the South African government to ensure uninterrupted delivery of TB and HIV services during COVID-19 during the different levels of lockdown, discussions also explored the challenges presented by the pandemic. The meeting resulted in commitment from the Minister of Health to a date for the launch of the TB prevalence survey for South Africa.
Zimbabwe held a national coordination meeting “TB in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: Situation Analysis, Lessons learnt and opportunities for the future”, organised by Stop TB Partnership Zimbabwe, Jointed Hands Welfare Organisation, Global TB Caucus and the NTP. Participants agreed to increase engagement with policy makers on resource mobilisation, social protection for DR-TB patients, strengthening multi-sectoral approach towards UNHLM TB targets, and implementing an accountability framework.
Hon. Professor Millat launched the Bangladesh National TB Caucus and convened their first meetings, as well as launching the Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing. Also, Minister of Health Bangladesh Zahid Maleque launched a year-long TB national awareness campaign.
Minister of Health Indonesia, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, commit to fix vaccination problems in Indonesia including TB Vaccines. He committed to reducing TB prevalence from 326/100.000 to 65/100.000 by taking a more aggressive approach, including increasing data validity and digitalization, strengthening infrastructure for primary health care, and emphasizing an inclusive approach with sub-national government and CSO stakeholders.
The APEC Health Ministers Declaration and Chair's statement contained strong language on TB.
Indonesia has secured TB as an agenda item for their G20 presidency in 2022 after sustained advocacy on the issue.
GTBC members recently participated in the Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa & MENA, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Global Fund 6th Partnership Forums, which are designed to allow participants to contribute their ideas and feedback for the next Global Fund Strategy.
World TB Day
Ma'ruf Amin, Vice President of Indonesia said in a statement that TB elimination efforts need to be fully supported by all Ministries and Departments. Multisectoral stakeholder engagement needs to be strengthened, with CSOs, the private sector and academia needing to scale up the response. The efforts to eliminate TB should not be interrupted amidst the pandemic.
Prime Minister Hun Sen marked World TB Day. Cambodia has already achieved the Millennium Development Goals in terms of morbidity and mortality from TB, Mr Hun Sen said. “Cambodia’s success in eradicating TB is something that only a small number of countries can achieve.” He said the 2021 World Tuberculosis Day will continue to inspire people around the world to be more aware and proactive in working together to ensure that all TB patients get treatment and, in the future, they will see a TB-free world.
The Minister of Health in Indonesia delivered a strong statement on TB during a World TB Day event. Indonesia is committed to reduce the prevalence from 326/100.000 to 65/100.000. It is important to push for promotive, preventive and curative measures to address TB. The MoH will apply a stronger approach, including to increase data validity and digitalization and strengthen infrastructure for primary health care. An inclusive approach with sub-national governments, CSOs and other stakeholders must be involved in the mass movement to address the issue.
Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World TB Day under the theme: ‘TB is still Among Us: Let us End TB Together’. Minister of Health Dr Jonas Chanda, MP officiated the virtual commemoration. The theme was a reminder that the burden of TB in Zambia remained huge especially now with COVID. Case notifications were 67% in 2020 which was a success in the country, but over 30% of TB cases are still not detected every year in the country, hence the need to accelerate response towards elimination.
The national TB Caucus together with the Ministry of Health commemorated World TB Day, and Hon Fako was among the guests who shared some remarks. World TB Day was celebrated at Botsabelo Multi–Drug Resistant (MDR)/Extensively-Drug Resistant (XDR) TB Hospital in Maseru. This is a modern state of the art facility that reflects innovative ways in management and control of MDR/XDR TB with bed occupancy of 22, laboratory, X-ray and pharmacy units. The Hospital was established in 2006 by the Government of Lesotho in collaboration with Partners. World TB Day enters into the second year of the two year campaign, “On the move against tuberculosis” focusing on innovation in TB research and care. The idea is to recognize the importance of local innovations in bringing about effective outcomes from TB control programmes in a variety of settings.
Quoted on 'The Namibian' twitter handle, Hon Dienda was among the dignitaries that attended the belated Word TB Day commemorations held on March 26 at Helao Nafidi. She gave remarks putting TB in the spotlight. She shared that the burden of TB in the country was worrying due to the high cases and the threat of COVID-19.
Indian MOH launched the India TB Report and presented the findings at the Ministry's World TB Day.
For the first time since its launch, the eSwatini national caucus was included on the World TB Day program in the country. Hon Sibandze delivered remarks where Minister of Health Hon Lizzy Nkosi was guest of honour and delivered a keynote address. Other speakers included US ambassador, UNICEF representative, and WHO country representative.
South Africa Deputy President joined the world in commemorating World TB Day in his country. Mabuza said the potential diversion of priority focus and financial resources away from TB programmes to fund responses to the COVID-19 pandemic posed serious risks to the consolidation of global efforts to end TB.
The MEP Lung Health Group, organised in collaboration with the Global TB Caucus and TB Europe Coalition, brought attention to this important issue with the event, ‘Tuberculosis research and investment – lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic’, hosted by MEP Manuel Pizarro (S&D, Portugal, and co-chair of the MEP Lung Health Group). We are hoping to increase engagement with these MEPs and the EP in general throughout the coming year.
Global Co-Chair of the GTBC, Lord Herbert, met with Mr Dag-Inge Ulstein, Norwegian Minister of International Development Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership, and Mona Drage, Managing director, LHL International. They discussed the lessons learned so far from over a year of struggling with both COVID-19 and TB, and the role of the GTBC and Norway in ensuring increased financing for TB R&D, and accountability for the UN HLM Targets.
Several MPs from different regions of the GTBC shared social media posts developed by the GTBC, in order to bring attention to TB accountability on WTBD.
Global TB Caucus Communications
International Women’s Day 10 female parliamentarians and members of the GTBC contributed to a video campaign, highlighting that one of the largest barriers to a healthy society is access to quality health care for preventable and curable diseases like Tuberculosis, which continues to prevent women and girls everywhere from reaching their full potential. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA8qx-3tlmg
World TB Day 2021 The Global TB Caucus created a digital campaign around TB accountability and the implementation of MAF-TB frameworks. The main objective of campaign was to raise awareness elevate knowledge around MAF-TB and the importance of its implementation in reaching UN HLM and SDG targets
Hon Dr Angelina Helen Tan, Global TB Caucus Co-chair for Asia Pacific, Member for the Quezon 4th district in the House of Representatives of the Philippines: The cost of inaction: economic impact of TB mortality
Upcoming Global TB Caucus Events & Briefings
The Global TB Caucus Platform of Experts Launch
The Global TB Caucus Global Briefing: Innovation in Product Development Partnerships