31 January 2014 - Cape Town, South Africa - The Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, today called for more support for partnerships to improve global health outcomes.
"The Stop TB Partnership is a great example of what is possible when different stakeholders work together with the intention of finding solutions to some of the problems that persist," he said in a written speech delivered on his behalf by Honourable Aaron Motsoaledi, the South African Minister of Health.
"In an environment that is likely to become increasingly more resource-constrained we need to put all of our efforts into strengthening partnerships to maximise efficiency," he added.
The speech was given to mark the opening session of the 24th Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board Meeting, being held today in Cape Town. It is the first meeting to be chaired by Minister Motsoaledi since his election as Chair at the last board meeting in Ottawa, Canada, in July 2013. The meeting was co-chaired by the new Vice-Chair of the Board, Dr Joanne Carter.
Board members, including representatives from international donors, technical agencies and civil society, heard how South Africa has made remarkable progress in the fight against TB, and shown global leadership in its application of the "know your epidemic, know your response" approach, pioneered through HIV control, to tuberculosis (TB).
South Africa is also leading the way in reaching and enrolling all vulnerable groups. "All people living in correctional facilities in South Africa are going to be screened and follow up done with their families," Minister Motsoaledi said. "All the 500 000 miners are going to be screened, at work and at home, with additional screening for 600 000 people in peri-mining communities."
The 24th Board Meeting presents a historic opportunity to shape the future of the fight against TB. The most important items on the agenda include the development of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2016-2020 (an action plan for all countries and partners that will provide a roadmap for implementation and estimates of resources needed to reach global TB targets) and support for roll-out of the Global Fund’s New Funding Model.
Following the Board Meeting, Dr Lucica Ditiu, the Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, and other members of the Coordinating Board will join an interactive panel discussion with healthcare students, organized in partnership with TB Proof. Starting at 14:00 on Saturday 1 February, the discussion will focus on the role of health workers and on finding innovative solutions to tackling TB.
Briefing documents for the Coordinating Board meeting are available on the Stop TB Partnership website. Decision points will be made available shortly after the meeting.
The Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board provides leadership and direction, monitors the implementation of agreed policies, plans and activities of the Partnership, and ensures coordination among Stop TB Partnership components.
Source: Stop TB Partnership