Union intervention at the 72nd World Health Assembly on commitments after the HLM on TB

At the 72nd World Health Assembly, Member States discussed the follow-up to the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on ending tuberculosis (TB), which was held in September last year. The Union read out the following intervention, urging Member States to implement human rights-based approaches to TB and fulfill their commitments to close the TB funding gaps:

“Following up from the UN high-level meeting on tuberculosis, the opportunity now is to translate global commitments into regional, national and even sub-national action. The Union supports the country-specific targets developed by The Stop TB Partnership as a tool for member states to use in the process of planning their comprehensive responses to TB.

“With adequate investment in innovation, new tools could play a vital role in ensuring the HLM targets are met by 2030. The political declaration includes commitments to pursue new innovative models for R&D and to close the R&D funding gaps. All countries have a role to play in filling the funding gap for TB research and development and ensuring products developed are available to all who need them.

“To fulfill their commitments will require member states to implement human rights-based approaches to TB. This means ending the long-standing neglect of TB among children and adolescents, ending gender-based discrimination and fighting stigma, among other solutions.

“Reaching the End TB targets will only be possible with a much stronger push for TB prevention. This starts with recognizing that people have a right to know their TB status and to receive appropriate care.

“The growing networks of TB survivors should be supported and included in the process of developing solutions for delivering person-centered care.

“Achieving the above requires member states to fulfill their commitments to close the TB funding gaps. Every economic impact study conducted has found that allowing TB to spread is more expensive for national economies than stopping the epidemic is. TB is an economic drain. Achieving the HLM commitments is an investment in the both public health and economic development.”