The Global TB Caucus launches The Fellows Network
On the 1st of June, the Global TB Caucus virtually launched its Fellows Network, an informed and informative network of former members who continue to contribute to the success of the Global TB Caucus after their term in office has finished. The Network is composed of former parliamentarians who wish to continue to support the work of the Global TB Caucus after the end of their term in office. The members of Fellows Networks will work to maintain political will, liaise with the private sector and through other forms of cooperation, as agreed.
The Network is being launched by a few of the most active members of the Global TB Caucus during their term in their respective parliaments, as part of their commitment to tackling TB, especially during the difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic:
Akaki Zoidze, former Member of the Parliament of Georgia
Serhii Kiral, former Member of the Parliament of Ukraine
Valeria Mitelela, former Member of Parliament from Mozambique
Luz Salgado, former Member of Parliament from Peru
David Ombugadu, former Member of Parliament from Nigeria
Despite an end to their term in office, many former parliamentarians maintain a certain amount of gravitas in the public and political sphere. The Fellows Network is meant to utilise the public platforms former parliamentarians can access, and using their specific strengths, the Caucus will continue to engage former members, through their traditional and social media influence, retaining their expertise for recommendations, guidance and ability to command an audience to further develop the strategic aims of the Caucus.
Former Parliamentarians also often remain members of their respective political parties and as such tend to maintain key political relationships. In some countries, they often occupy executive positions at various levels, as deputy ministers or ministers, heads of regional or city administrations, advisers to governors or mayors, and more. Their contribution to the TB response can be very effective, as they are often closer to health institutions and people, and can be drivers of local TB reform, detection and diagnosis. Additionally, it is possible to create links between current parliamentarians and their former colleagues on the ground to strengthen the fight against the epidemic, possibly even mentoring incoming MPs who are unfamiliar with the Caucus and work already done.
The Fellows Network will assist the End TB agenda and develop the ability of the Caucus to shape the outcomes of the UN High Level Meeting on TB, helping to hold Heads of State accountable to the commitments made.