Together we can prevent 2 million deaths by 2022
27 July 2018 I Geneva, Switzerland - TB 2018 was held ahead of the 22nd International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2018. TB 2018 was co-hosted by the International AIDS Society, the Stop TB Partnership and USAID. It was well-attended with eminent speakers including His Excellency, Aaron Motsoaledi (South African Health Minister and Chair of Stop TB Partnership), His Excellency Yusuf Shaikh (Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Pakistan), William Steiger (Chief of Staff of USAID), Eric Goosby (UN Special Envoy on TB), Yogan Pillay (Deputy Director-General for Health in South Africa), Peter Sands (Executive Director of Global Fund), Soumya Swaminathan (Deputy Director General of WHO) and a number of TB survivors.
The meeting issued a Call to Action to prevent 2 million deaths by 2022 and recognizes that most people on HIV treatment are now able to live long and productive lives. However, this alone will not prevent 400,000 people living with HIV from dying of TB each year. It calls for five actions:
- Transform the TB/HIV response to be more equitable, rights-based and people-centered;
- Galvanize stakeholders at all levels and ensure effective use of all available resources to address TB/HIV co-infection;
- Reach all people living with TB/HIV co-infection by eliminating gaps and barriers in access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
- Accelerate the development and implementation of new prevention, diagnostic and treatment tools and technologies to address TB/HIV co-infection;
- Commit to rigorous monitoring and evaluation of programmes that are in place and ensure that TB/HIV targets are included in country-level accountability frameworks.
Minister Motsoaledi delivered a passionate speech and made an important announcement on the use and pricing of new TB drug bedaquiline. Talking about the UN High-Level Meeting, Minister Motsoaledi said: “At the BRICS Health Ministers Meeting last week, we all committed to doing everything in our power to bring our Heads of State to the UN HLM on TB.”
William Steiger, Chief of Staff of USAID, highlighted the economic case for TB, the stigma and disempowerment associated with TB, particularly for women, and expressed the support of USAID to the UN High-Level Meeting on TB.
Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership said, “TB 2018 was amazing this year, with participants being with us for more than 10 hours during a Sunday, even when competing with more than 20 other events. I hope though that in 2020 TB sessions are an integrated part of IAS and not a pre-event. TB 2018 represented an opportunity to talk about all the elements of our renewed and accelerated TB response: closing the diagnosis gaps for people with TB and HIV, developing better tools to prevent, diagnose and treat everyone, new means to finance our work and holding everyone accountable for our ultimate goal of ending TB’.
The full programme for TB 2018 is available here.
Source: Stop TB Partnership