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MPs discuss the political will to end TB

Image: The Global Fund / Saiful Huq Omi

The Global TB Caucus is an international network of parliamentarians united by their shared commitment to end the TB epidemic. With over 2,500 members in 150 countries, the Caucus aims to transform the response to TB through targeted interventions at national, regional and global levels.

Mr Akaki Zoidze MP

“Multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and HIV/TB co-infections are new, grave threats posed by the old enemy of humankind – tuberculosis (TB).

“TB has been known since ancient Egypt and has killed more people than all other infectious diseases combined. MDR TB is found in every country in the world, with only one in five people given the drugs they need to combat the disease. Of that small fraction, fewer than half are cured.

“Universal access to treatment is vital for HIV/TB co-infection. The East Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region carries one of the heaviest burdens of MDR TB globally and has a long way to go to ensure universal access to necessary treatments.

“This calls for immediate action from all parties, including us, parliamentarians, who are willing and capable to consolidate political will globally and across EECA for accelerating progress towards End-TB, which will not happen without addressing threats posed by MDR TB and co-infection.”

Hon Warren Entsch MP

“TB is the leading infectious disease killer in the world with a total of 1.5 million deaths in 2019, according to the latest WHO TB report.

“Despite this, the vaccine we use hasn’t changed since 1921 – and this vaccine only prevents children from the most dangerous forms of TB. For too long have we accepted that people should die of a preventable and treatable disease.

“TB research and development is essential to achieving the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the End TB Strategy.

“A new vaccine and new techniques of prevention, diagnosis and cure are required to meet the targets and end TB by 2030. We must urge for more investment in the field and end these senseless deaths.”

Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE

“2018 was a landmark year in the global effort to tackle TB with the first UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB, which saw heads of state and government from around the world make public commitments to end TB.

“The caucus played a major role in the success of the UNHLM, and was explicitly acknowledged and thanked for its work at the UN.

“However, one year on, we are not seeing enough of a sense of urgency to follow through on the commitments that were made at the UN.

“We risk seeing the response slip back into business as usual, which isn’t close to what we need to achieve the treatment and prevention and financing targets, among other commitments.”

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