A Global TB Summit, co-organised by The Union and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on TB in October 2014, led to the Global TB Caucus and launch of the Barcelona Declaration to end TB. By 1 November 2015, 97 countries had signed the Declaration.
Bali Summit on TB and Diabetes
On 2–3 November, The Union and the World Diabetes Foundation convened the first-ever global summit on the looming co-epidemic of TB and diabetes in Bali, Indonesia.
Hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Government of Indonesia, the summit brought together representatives of diverse backgrounds and responsibilities – government officials, leaders from multilateral agencies, researchers and technical experts, private-sector actors and members of civil society –to address an urgent public health challenge: the deadly interaction between tuberculosis and diabetes mellitus.
The growing burden of these two linked diseases will increasingly impact health systems around the world, testing their capacity to respond to an infectious disease and a non-communicable disease through a coordinated approach. Responding effectively will require new innovations in the pursuit of public health, adapted to local contexts.
The two-day summit provided an opportunity for participants to learn from each other’s efforts to address TB-diabetes to date and a platform for discussing how to change the trajectory of this dual epidemic.
Of course, the summit was only the beginning – and the most important work lies ahead. As a reflect of their commitment to translate good ideas into tangible action, the summit delegates signed the Bali Declaration on Tuesday, 3 November 2015.
Read the Bali Declaration.
The Global TB Caucus
Global TB Summit, Barcelona 2014
In October 2014, The Union and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on TB co-organised the first Global TB Summit in over 100 years. It was held in Barcelona, Spain in conjunction with the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health.
This inaugural meeting was co-chaired by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health for South Africa and Chair of the Stop TB Partnership, and Nick Herbert, MP and co-chair of the UK APPG on TB; and the day-long session led to the foundation of a Global TB Caucus. The aim of the Caucus, a globe-spanning network of parliamentarians, is to bridge geographical and political divides to build the necessary political will to fight the disease.
In addition, the parliamentarians launched the Barcelona Declaration, a powerful call to action for political leadership to secure an end to the tuberculosis epidemic within a generation.
Since then, the Declaration has gained increasing support from elected officials across the world with 611 signatories spanning 97 countries by November 2015. The Caucus’s target for the year is to enlist support from 100 countries, including signatories from each of the G20 countries and the 22 high TB-burden countries.
This campaign will culminate in a second Global TB Summit, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, prior to the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health.
Take action to expand the Global TB Caucus
Broad support is essential to meeting the goals of the Barcelona Declaration. Both individuals and organisations can help build government support.
Reach out to members of parliament and elected officials and ask them to join the fight against TB by signing the Barcelona Declaration.
Here is a template letter that you may download and send to your parliamentarians and/or other elected representatives.
If all the stakeholders in the fight against TB come together and support this initiative, we should be able to achieve our target of 100 countries by the end of the year.
Read these recent opinion pieces
Op-ed by Nick Herbert (co-chair of the Global TB summit and of the UK APPG on TB) and Kalikesh Singh Deo (MP from India): Spread of drug-resistant TB must be stopped to avoid catastrophe http://www.trust.org/item/20150322084944-34b8a/?source=jtBlogs
World TB Day joint op-ed by Nick Herbert and Antonio Brito (MP from Brazil): http://www.stoptb.org/webadmin/cms/docs/Release%20conjuntodia%20mundial%20BritoHerbert.pdf
Op-ed in Le Monde newspaper by Aaron Motsoaledi (co-chair of the Global TB summit) and Philippe Douste-Blazy (Chairman of UNITAID):
Tuberculose: agir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2015/03/24/tuberculose-agir-avant-qu-il-ne-soit-trop-tard_4599931_3212.html
Project Axshya: ACSM to reach 750 million marginalised people in India
Two of The Union’s major projects have important advocacy components. Project Axshya in India is a civil society initiative that is bringing TB information and services to 750 million marginalised people in 21 states across the country. The Union’s largest-ever project, Axshya is coordinated by a team based at The Union South-East Asia Office, who work with a network of 9 sub-recipient partners coordinating with 1,200 NGOs, 3,000 civil society organisations and 21,000 rural healthcare providers. Project Axshya is funded by a Round 9 grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (The Global Fund). Read more.
PICTS: TB case finding through volunteer network
The PICTS programme coordinated by The Union Office in Myanmar and local partners uses an extensive network of volunteers, including many former TB patients, to reach its goal: doubling the number of TB cases identified in Mandalay. In 2012, close to 132,000 people attended TB education sessions, 28,000 were tested, and close to 4,000 TB cases (all types) identified. Read more.
Civil society participation in The Union
The Union has increased its collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs) over the past several years. Two CSO representatives serve on the Board of Directors, and, in 2013, a record 100 CSO participants were given free registrations to The Union World Conference. As always, their participation added to the lively dialogue on lung health issues.
On 24 March 1982 – the 100th anniversary of Prof Robert Koch’s discovery of M tuberculosis – The Union proposed that the day be remembered as World TB Day. Today hundreds of organisations mark World TB Day with public events, street theatre, workshops, seminars and more. Each year The Union marks this and other lung-health related World Days (asthma, pneumonia, no tobacco and AIDS) with publicity campaigns and other region-based events.
Campaigns for lung health
As a principal partner in the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, The Union has been active over the past several years in building awareness of chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and the need to address the growing NCD crisis caused by these diseases among low- and middle-income populations worldwide. These efforts led to the Global Plan for NCDs approved by the World Health Assembly in 2013 and are helping to shape the post-2015 development agenda. In addition, as a partner in the Forum of International Respiratory Diseases (FIRS), The Union was a major sponsor of the 2010 Year of the Lung campaign.
Learn more about the NCD Alliance.
Partnerships in advocating for lung health
The Union actively participates in numerous global alliances to address lung health challenges facing low- and middle-income populations. Highlights include:
- Stop TB Partnership: www.stoptb.org
- NCD Alliance: www.ncdalliance.org
- Forum of International Respiratory Societies
- Global Asthma Network: www.globalasthmanetwork.org
- Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia: www.worldpneumoniaday.org
- Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Disease (GARD): http://www.who.int/gard/en/