TB Europe Coalition launches Eastern European and Central Asian network of people with experience of TB

20 June 2016 – Bratislava, Slovakia – The TB Europe Coalition, in collaboration with and with support from the Stop TB Partnership launched TBpeople, the Eastern European and Central Asian network of people with experience of TB. The new network aims to put people affected by tuberculosis (TB) at the heart of decision-making in the fight against TB across Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA).

The launch of the network is the result of a three-day workshop of Russian speaking community advocates across Eastern Europe and Central Asia held in Bratislava on the side of the 7th Conference of the Union European Region.

The workshop was attended by Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership, and Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria who both welcomed the launch of the new network.

“We will never, ever succeed in ending any disease if we do not have people affected by these diseases in mind. In TB, even now in 2016, there is still reluctance in genuinely engaging communities, civil society and people affected by TB in the entire process of TB care. Stop TB Partnership is and will remain true to our commitment of serving first and foremost people that suffer because of TB, especially the most vulnerable. And we will end TB together,” said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.

The timing of the workshop also provides an exciting opportunity for the participants to engage their parliamentarians, coinciding with the launch of the Eurasian Parliamentary Group on TB, highlighting the key role that the community can play in supporting parliamentarians take action across the continent. The WHO Europe Region has the highest rates of drug-resistant TB in the world. Drug-resistant TB taking 24 months to treat and only 50% of patients are successfully cured.

“How many millions have to become ill with TB, how many thousands have to die before the community of people with experience of TB are seen as allies in the war against TB? We got together here in Bratislava to say that we are not going to watch the fight — we will be part of it! “ Timur Abdullaev, member of the TB Europe Coalition Steering Committee and TB advocate.

“People living with and affected by TB are not part of the problem, they are part of the solution” said Rachael Crockett, Policy Advocacy Officer, RESULTS UK. “We are really excited to be part of the movement to highlight the important role the community have to play in the fight against TB in the region.”

Editors notes:

  • Tuberculosis is the world’s single deadliest infectious disease. In 2015, the epidemic killed 1.5 million people worldwide. Fifteen out of the world’s 27 countries hardest hit by MDR-TB are situated in EECA.
  • The TB Europe Coalition is an informal advocacy network of non-governmental organisations and individuals that share a commitment to raising awareness of TB and to increasing the political will to control the disease throughout the WHO European Region and worldwide.

Source: TB Europe Coalition

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By TB Europe Coalition

Published: June 20, 2016, 10:57 p.m.

Last updated: June 22, 2016, 3:49 p.m.

Tags: Advocacy

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