Stop TB Partnership

Fighting the epidemic in Brazil

Friday 16th October - Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, British Member of Parliament, Co-chairman and Founder of the Global TB Caucus, spoke in the Brazilian Congress on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 October about Brazil’s role in ending the global TB epidemic.

Deputy Antonio Brito, Chairman of the Social Affairs and Family Committee and Chairman of the Brazilian TB Parliamentary Front, invited Mr Herbert to speak to two events in the Brazilian Congress. On Wednesday 7 October, Mr Herbert addressed a special session of the Social Affairs and Family Committee alongside British Treasury Minister, Lord O’Neill, and the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Mr Herbert talked about the treat posed by drug-resistant TB and the need for all countries to coordinate on a global response. He called for Brazil, as one of the world’s leading emerging economies to play an active role, both by eliminating TB in Brazil, and by supporting other countries around the world to do similarly. Finally, he touched on the Global TB Caucus and encouraged Deputies to sign the Barcelona Declaration, in doing so joining nearly 600 MPs from 97 countries who have so far given their support.

The following day, Mr Herbert addressed a public meeting comprising civil society, civil servants and Brazilian Deputies. He was joined on the panel by Carlos Basilia, President of Stop TB Brazil, who had invited Mr Herbert earlier in the week to see community TB projects first hand in the Rocinha favela of Rio de Janeiro. Mr Herbert discussed the favela in his speech, acknowledging the great progress being made against the epidemic, but also the significant challenges that remain in tackling the disease.

During the visit Mr Herbert also met with the new Minister of Health for Brazil, Marcelo Castro, and encouraged him to continue Brazil’s great efforts in tackling TB.

In the last meeting of the visit, Deputy Brito committed to launching a TB Caucus of the Americas in 2016. The regional Caucus will unite parliamentarians across North and South America and the Caribbean to drive regional coordinated action against the disease and mark the next step of the development of the Global TB Caucus.

The trip was made possible by the support of the Stop TB Partnership, who have worked in partnership with the Global TB Caucus to raise political support for ending TB.