Stop TB Partnership

CHAMPIONS AGAINST TUBERCULOSIS

In the past few celebrities from around the world have lent their images and voices to the fight against tuberculosis at national level. Their commitment has raised awareness among the general public, educated people at risk and stimulated politicians and other decision makers to fund tuberculosis programmes.

Recent activities

TB champion Gerry Elsdon completes two-week walk across South Africa to raise awareness about TB

Video documents national champions as they work to raise awareness about TB

Celebrities from eight countries join forces to raise the profile of TB

Biographies of the National Champions

Awad Ibrahim Awad // Sudan (North) // TV presenter

Dr Awad Ibrahim Awad is a well known Sudanese broadcaster, anchor and presenter. He has been closely working on tuberculosis care in Sudan (North) with the National Tuberculosis Program and Sudan Partnership to Stop TB. He also heads the chair of Stop TB Partnership Sudan and has made major contributions by way of his networking and partnering skills acquired after years of being in the media industry and owning his own television channel. He has been very successful in generating support for tuberculosis care in both the private and public sectors. Dr. Awad has also effectively utilized his connections in the media industry for dissemination of awareness on tuberculosis in Sudan

Zaal Chikobava // Georgia// Theatre Director

Mr. Zaal Chikobava is the managing director of the biggest theatre in Georgia the Rustaveli National Theatre, which has gained success and fame with its celebrated performances in Europe. He is also a very famous actor and he acted in many movies and performances on the big stage. In 2009 Zaal was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the National Tuberculosis Program of Georgia. In 2010 and 2011 he has directed the charity concerts at the Rustaveli theatre dedicated to the world Tuberculosis day. The raised funds were transferred to the Georgian tuberculosis centre. Zaal has made contributions to the National Tuberculosis Program by using his international networks for spreading the information about problems of Tuberculosis in Georgia.

Deepak Raj Giri and Deepasri Niraula // Nepal // TV movie actors

Mr. Deepak Raj Giri is a very famous Comedian-Artist in Nepal and he acted in many Nepali movies. In 2009 he was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for the National Tuberculosis Program of Nepal.

Ms Deepa Shree Niraula is a popular Comedian-Artist in Nepal who has also acted in more than dozen Nepali movies. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador for National Tuberculosis Program of Nepal. Since 2009, they have regularly participated in World TB Day events and have erformed together in a programme aiming at disseminating key information on the symptoms of tuberculosis, the accessibility of tuberculosis service and reduction of social stigma. In addition, Deepak Raj Giri and Deepa Shree Niraula conducted a tuberculosis orientation session in Nepali prisons in Birtanagar and Kathmandu. They have also created a TV advertisement focused on reducing the stigma attached to tuberculosis with referral information to increase the detection rate in Nepal.

Gerry Elsdon // South Africa // TV presenter

As her career as a television personality began in earnest, Gerry Elsdon was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Living in an affluent Johannesburg suburb, Gerry was shocked to find her closest tuberculosis clinic was hidden behind a number of buildings, "as if it was something to be ashamed of". It was this experience that prompted her to become an advocate for the rights of people affected by tuberculosis. Having grown up within South Africa’s liberation struggle in an under-privileged community, Gerry’s working life began working closely with some of the early leaders of the new democratically-elected South African government. Gerry’s humanitarian work began when she was appointed as an AIDS Ambassador by the Office of the President of South Africa. She is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Advocate for tuberculosis, and a willing volunteer for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, the Othandweni Children’s Home and the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership. She has participated in a number of meetings, notably giving a keynote address at the 2009 International Council of Nurses Conference. A well-known television personality in South Africa, Gerry has hosted many on air programmes, including the African version of the reality show, Big Brother. She has graced the covers and social pages of many of Africa’s leading glossy magazines, and has hosted and participated in numerous events.

Sonia Goldenberg // Perú // Journalist

Sonia Goldenberg is a Peruvian journalist and director. Her documentary, Amor en el aire (Love is in the air) documents the pioneering experience of the fight against MDR -TB in Peru and it shows how Peru has achieved the highest cure rate in the world. It has been used by the Peruvian branch of Partners in Health as a tool to disseminate information about the Peruvian experience and to teach countries in different parts of the world how to fight MDR-TB.

Goldenberg has also been actively exploring partnerships in the fight against tuberculosis in the government, civil society, the private sector and the press. As a result of advocacy with the Foreign Ministry of Peru, Goldenberg helped to secure $15 million which will be allocated to fight XDR TB in Peru. Goldenberg also works closely with famous Peruvian Chef, Gaston Acurio, who is an active and vocal advocate for tuberculosis care and control, and together they implemented a communications strategy which, for the first time, put tuberculosis in the agenda of the news media in Peru.

Rania Ismail // Jordan // Actress

Rania Ismail is a Jordanian Actress with over 18 years of experience in experimental theatre. Her profile includes acting in several international literature plays and working as a director, writer and actress for a well known Jordanian series called ‘Zaal and Khadra’. The Jordanian series in which she portrays the role ‘Khadra’ is designed to address national difficulties in issues such as family, youth, children, fertility and women while offering solutions through comedy. The show’s success has allowed Rania and her partner to secure support from The Ministry of Culture, the UN, The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development and USAID to act out these plays throughout Jordan as well as in orphanages, jails and senior homes. Since accepting her post as TB Goodwill Ambassador, Rania has been active in spreading awareness about this disease through the introduction of 20 shows in Jordan about the issue which were viewed in schools, jails, local villages and hotels; she also has produced a TV drama, co-produced a cartoon animation (10 episodes), wrote articles and has made regular television, newspaper and radio appearances all in line with working to stop tuberculosis.

Obour // Ghana // Pop singer

Bice Osei Kuffour (Obour) was born in the Ashanti Region of Ghana and is currently the president of the Musicians' Union of Ghana (MUSIGA). After being appointed as the National TB Ambassador in 2010, Obour has composed an informative theme song for tuberculosis awareness. Additionally, Obour has recently created a musical documentary that is aired on national television and focuses on reducing the stigmatization of TB patients and advocating for tuberculosis treatment by explaining that treatment is free in Ghana and that tuberculosis is curable if you follow through with the treatment plans.

For World Health Day 2011, Obour created a musical performance aiming to educate Ghanaians about tuberculosis care and control. Obour's stature as one of the top five musicians in Ghana, enables him to connect with the public and build partnerships with traditional and political leaders in various districts to advocate for tuberculosis care and control.

Behrooz Sabzwari // Pakistan // TV movie actor

Mr. Behrooz Sabzwari was born in Karachi, Pakistan and built his career starting as a radio host and later began acting on television and in theatrical plays. In 2009 he received the Presidential award (Pride of Performance) for his services to the Pakistani television industry for more than 40 years. After his appointment to be the National TB Ambassador, he has contributed greatly by preparing media awareness products and by conducting meetings with the media and the private sector. He successfully secured free access for the Stop TB Partnership to air advertisements for tuberculosis awareness campaigns.