The G20 Leaders renew their commitment to eradicate Tuberculosis
The G20 Leaders Summit took place last week, on the 28th and 29th of June in Osaka. Heads of State from across the 20 most powerful economies met to discuss matters such as global warming, global finance, labour, women’s empowerment, health and innovation. Within these topics, leaders discussed Global Health and crosscutting topics such as Universal Health Coverage, Ageing Populations, Nutrition and reinforced the need to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and Malaria epidemics.
“Health is a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive economic growth”, says the first sentence of the Global Health section of the Leaders Communique. The G20 recalled its commitment to moving towards achieving universal health coverage according to national contexts and priorities and also enhanced the importance of primary health care, including access to medicines, vaccination, nutrition, water and sanitation, health promotion and disease prevention.
The G20 Leaders affirmed the importance of strengthening health systems with a focus on quality, enhancing health workforce and human resources but also innovation. They called for a greater collaboration between health and finance authorities, and encouraged International Organizations and all stakeholders to collaborate effectively for healthy lives and well-being for all.
For the third year in a row, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to end the epidemics of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. After a solid campaign of the TB community, under the German presidency in 2017, the G20 recognized the drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) as a cornerstone of threat of antimicrobial resistance. On that year, the group launched a joint hub on AMR.
This year, leaders highlighted their concern on AMR again. They reminded the urgence for International Organizations and stakeholders to contribute to global efforts to combat it and assure they will promote Research & Development (R&D) to tackle AMR. They ended the declaration with a call on interested G20 members and the Global AMR R&D Hub to analyze push and pull mechanisms to identify best models for AMR R&D and to report back to G20 Ministers. This comes as a validation after being evoked now for two years in the past declarations of Hamburg and Buenos Aires.
Additionally, for the second time, leaders shared their concern and hope for the successful sixth replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
These commitments are in line with what member states agreed on last year’s UN High Level Meeting on TB (UN HLM on TB), which established ambitious targets to enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal of ending TB by 2030.
Members of the Global TB Caucus have been advocating for concrete actions from the G20 countries since 2017, as the bloc concentrates 60% of TB cases in the world. Additionally, in the period from 2015-2030, based on a “business as usual” scenario where current trends continue over the next 15 years, TB will cost the global economy USD$983bn. Over two-thirds of that ($675bn) will be in G20 countries.
The Global TB Caucus will continue to advocate for TB within the G20, considering the upcoming Ministers of Health Summit. In follow up to last years strong commitments and endorsement of the UN HLM targets for DR-TB, the Global TB Caucus hopes to see commitments from Ministers into concrete actions to reach the agreed targets.