Pan Africa Parliamentarians unite to End TB
African Parliamentarians united in recognizing the need to have a united regional approach to ending Tuberculosis
Johannesburg (May 12, 2018) Hon. Stephen Mule, Chair of the Africa TB Caucus officiated over the launch of the Pan African Parliament TB Caucus held at the Pan African Parliament. The meeting was graced by parliamentarians, members of the Gender and Health committee from different countries in Africa.
In his statement, he urged members of parliaments to be the voices of the worlds deadliest disease saying, “TB is a silent killer, killing more people than any other disease yet the we have been silent. Let us not give our future generations an opportunity to judge us harshly. That we had an opportunity to end TB but we did not.”
TB is a bacterial infection spread when an ill person coughs or sneezes. It predominantly affects the lungs and kills more people than any other infectious disease. The World Health Organization estimated that 1.5 million people died from the disease in 2014.
Like other bacteria, TB is also becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. This is a particular problem in the African region, which has 16 of the world’s top 30 high TB burden countries. With low case detection rates, poor funding and inadequate policies; TB is a scourge n the African continent with experts estimating that 12,707,000 people will die from TB by 2030, and the economic impact of the disease could be at least USD $303.24 billion in Africa by 2030.
The caucus secretariat will be led by Hon. Dr. Toussaint MANGA (Senegal) and Hon. Francisca Domingos TOMAS (Mozambique) as the co-chairs and Hon Dr Nazar Khalid (Sudan) as the Chair of the Pan African Parliament TB Caucus. Dr. Nazar Khalid is also the chair of the Sudanese ParliamentaB ry TB Caucus and a member of the Global TB Caucus. The three were elected during the launch. In his acceptance speech Dr. Nazar said “We are going to work together with the African TB Caucus to coordinate our efforts in the entire African region to ensure we end TB.” He also urged members of Health Committees to engage their Heads of States to attend the U.N. General Assembly High Level Meeting (HLM) in New York, stating that, “This is a once in a generation event and Africa cannot afford to be left behind.“ raising the need to have a regional approach to solving the TB crisis.
The HLM is the first ever meeting of its kind on TB and will take place on September 26,
2018 when many world leaders will be in New York for the United Nations General
Caucus members were urged to use the HLM platform to commit to a “renewed effort to prevent, diagnose and treat TB,” ensuring that the global response is “equitable, rights-based and people-centered,” as well as boosting “investment in the full spectrum of TB research” to bring about urgently needed new tools including drugs, diagnostics and vaccines.
About the Global TB Caucus
The Global TB Caucus is a unique, international network of parliamentarians committed to
utilising their political influence to end the TB epidemic. The Caucus works on an
international, regional, and national level to co-ordinate a global response to the specific
challenges that TB represents. The Caucus has over 2400 members from over 136 countries.
Hon Stephen Mule is a Kenyan Member of parliament the MP for Matugulu constituency from the eastern part of Kenya and also a member of the health committee in Kenya. He is serving his second term in parliament