The Global TB Caucus was launched in October 2014 with the purpose of building new political support to tackle the world's deadliest epidemic. At that time, there were only five groups of parliamentarians working on the disease at the national level: Brazil, Canada, Japan, USA and the UK and no international parliamentary groups coordinating action on the disease.
In September 2015 Heads of State endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals and agreed to end TB by 2030. Since the launch of the Global TB Caucus, under the leadership of the Caucus co-chairs, Mr. Nick Herbert, Member of Parliament (UK), and Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Board and Minister of Health, South Africa, the picture has changed dramatically. Regional networks have been launched in Africa, the Americas, the Asia Pacific and Europe, and a landmark convention signed with the Francophonie Parliamentary Association to create a network for French-speaking countries.
Fourteen national parliamentary groups launched across the world in 2016. Over a thousand parliamentarians participated in these launches bringing unprecedented political attention to the disease. This progress is set to continue early in 2017 with at least another seven national groups set to launch by World TB Day, bringing the global total up to at least 25.
“The launch of national caucuses around the world is a promising sign that the political profile of TB is rising”, said Mr. Nick Herbert, Member of Parliament and co-chair of the Global TB Caucus. “Establishing these groups, however, is not enough. The real test is whether parliamentarians can be effective in holding their governments to account for the quality of their TB programmes, and whether they can deliver increased resources and better policies to tackle the disease."
The Caucus has targeted building a group in every G20 country and every High TB Burden country by 2020 and is ahead of schedule to achieve that.
“The Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to End TB launched in November 2015 outlines a set of paradigm shifts that are essential to ending TB by 2030, including changed and inclusive leadership and the mobilization of parliamentarians and government officials in the TB fight”, said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership. “Hosting the Secretariat of the Global TB Caucus and through our network of country partners, the Stop TB Partnership is proud to support the launch of these National TB Caucuses, which are and will be a huge asset as we look towards clear political leadership in countries towards ending TB.”
The countries with National Caucuses are: Brazil, Canada, Japan, USA, Algeria, Australia, Gambia, Georgia, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The following are scheduled to launch in 2017: Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Ukraine, South Africa, Malawi, Philippines, India, and Zambia.
For more information on the work of the Global TB Caucus and how to set up a National TB Caucus, please visit www.globaltbcaucus.org.
Source: Stop TB Partnership