Updates on the TB Platform of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
Brussels, February, 2019 - On January 28th, 2019, members of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly (members of the European Parliament (EP) and the East Partnership Countries) gathered to discuss issues related to the Social Affairs Committee, including an update on the situation of the fight against tuberculosis around the world.
The update was part of the activities of the TB Platform of the Euronest, composed of parliamentarians from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and from the European Parliament. The TB Platform was launched in October 2017 during an Euronest meeting held in Kiev. Members of the TB Platform work at the national, regional and global levels to raise the political profile of the TB in the different parliaments.
In this last meeting of the current EP legislature, MPs heard about the developments after the first United Nations High Level Meeting on TB (UNHLM), held in September 2018, and the targets agreed by countries to change the response to TB and to put the world back on track to end TB by 2030. At the current rate of progress, the world will reach the targets in 150 years.
Mrs Malahat Ibrahimgizi, member of the Azerbaijani parliament, chaired this Euronest session and highlighted the importance of holding governments accountable to the commitments made at the UNHLM. She reminded members of the Social Affairs Committee present that the TB Platform of the parliamentary assembly is an important forum and offers the space for MPs to exchange and plan the next steps for the fight against TB in the region.
One of the targets established on the Political Declaration of the UNLHM on TB is that the world should successfully diagnose and treat 40 million people between 2018 and 2022. Each country will have to achieve its national share in order to reach the targets. According to estimates from the Stop TB Partnership and the Global TB Caucus, altogether, the European Union and the Eastern Partnership Countries should aim to find and treat 450,116 people by 2022. At the current rate of progress, the region is expected to find 312,735 cases, leaving more than 130,000 people behind.
Another target that would have an important impact in the region is to commit to tackle drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). The European region has the fastest growing DR-TB epidemic of any other region in the world.
Also, the update brought to attention the replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, that will take place this year. Countries are expected to pledge and reach the target of USD 14 billion for the next three-year cycle, as well as committing to invest more nationally, increasing its domestic funding for TB.
The next Euronest meeting is expected to take place after the elections for the European Parliament.