13 April 2015 - Paris, France - A first draft of the next Global Plan to Stop TB 2016-2020 was today shared for review on the fringes of the opening of the 26th Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board meeting in Paris tomorrow. The Plan will call for a paradigm shift from just controlling TB to ending TB in the fight against the disease over the next five years if the world is to achieve an end to TB, as the World Health Assembly committed in 2014.
The Stop TB Partnership has produced three previous five- and ten-year global plans since 2001. The current Plan differs from previous ones in several ways, including the fact that it does not aim to be an operational directive for countries.
The new Plan presents a case for how the world can change its approach to fighting TB in order to break out of the current stagnation and "bend the curves" of incidence and mortality in line with WHO’s End TB Strategy.
It provides a set of options and opportunities that countries can use to inspire their planning as they consider how they can best accelerate a reduction in new cases and deaths from TB to meet the End TB Strategy’s milestones.
The Plan is created in a more inclusive manner, relying up on a wider group of stakeholders than previous plans. The Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board established a Task Force of 13 people, each representing an expertise or a group of stakeholders within the TB community, to oversee the development of the Plan.
The work on the Plan has also involved extensive inputs and contributions from national TB programs in a number of countries. The data and information from these countries have significantly contributed to the outcome of the modeling work and the composition of the investment packages that the Plan are basing its recommendations on.
The Plan also outlines the funding needs - both in terms of existing interventions and the development of new tools to fight tuberculosis - necessary to achieve the End TB Strategy’s goals. Conversely, it estimates the costs associated with delaying these investments.
Its initial findings indicate that significantly more money needs to be invested in TB over the coming five years but will yield savings as the burden of TB rapidly declines.
"Working on this Plan has been very inspiring, bringing together so many different groups in finding a way to dramatically change the fight against TB towards ending it," said Dr Paula Fujiwara," Scientific Director for the Union and Chair of the Task Force leading the work on the development of the Global Plan. "This Plan is different as it considers the epidemiological impact as well as the human rights impact; as the needs and the rights of vulnerable groups are being addressed."
Over the next four months, online and regional consultations will seek input from anyone working with or affected by TB.
The regional consultations that will happen are built on the back of the Global Fund Partnership Forums, which ensures building synergies and ensuring cross-fertilization between the Global Fund Strategy 2017-2021 and the new Global Plan to Stop TB 2016-2020. It also makes it possible to reach a wide range of stakeholders for input. The first regional consultation will be in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 6 May, followed by Bangkok, Thailand on 23 June, Istanbul, Turkey on 23 July and ending with a regional consultation in Latin America. The feedback from these online and regional consultations will feed into a second draft.
The next Global Plan will launch at the Board Meeting at the end of the year which will take place in South Africa in December.