Civil society actors from across Asia come together to fight against TB

12 August 2014 - New Delhi, India - The Global Coalition for Tuberculosis Activists (GCTA), in association with the Stop TB Partnership and Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses are organizing a unique Regional Workshop to build the capacity of activists from across Asia to advocate for enhanced TB control.

"Without the participation of community representatives, public health programmes cannot achieve their goals of improving the health of communities," said Dr R S Gupta, Deputy Director General, Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The workshop brings together 25 leading activists from eight countries in Asia including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and India. Over three days, participants will discuss several TB-related issues including community systems strengthening, human rights, gender and the involvement of key affected populations in tuberculosis control and the Global Fund’s new funding model.

The workshop aims to intensely train these activists and build their capacity so that they may, in turn build communities of activists in their respective countries to advocate for better TB response. This network of activists is critical to tackling the spread of tuberculosis in the region.

"The fight against tuberculosis will be incomplete without the active engagement and active involvement of key affected populations and communities. With the New Funding mechanism of the Global Fund, there is an opportunity to ensure that communities and patients have a voice in decisions leading to an inclusive and empowering process. There is an urgent need to ensure that TB in our region is addressed and treated in a way that upholds the dignity and protects the Human Rights of patients. Global Coalition of TB Activists is extremely happy to organize the Asia Regional Workshop along with the Stop TB Partnership, Geneva and SPYM in India," said Blessina Kumar, GCTA Chair.

"Countries participating in the workshop are working on various technical areas including community systems strengthening and gender programming using roadmaps to refine priorities in the development of TB concept notes. We are pleased to be able to support the community’s response to TB and to discuss technical support needs that the Stop TB Partnership can fund," said Jenniffer Dietrich, Grant Manager for the Stop TB Partnership.

About GCTA: The Global Coalition TB Activists, a partner of Stop TB Partnership, is a coalition of representatives from and of the tuberculosis (TB) affected communities aiming to bring together activists from diverse backgrounds and regions to ensure TB affected communities are at the center of all processes on TB. The GCTA is hosted in India by SPYM and works to effectively represent TB affected communities and influence the global TB control agenda through patient empowerment, strategic advocacy and community mobilization.