First Ever International Leadership Summit of Medical Associations on Achieving UNHLM Targets to End TB concludes with the Kochi Declaration

NEWS ALERT 3 June 2024 | Kochi, India


KOCHI, India - The Private Sector Provider (PSP) constituency of Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) convened the first-ever ‘International Leadership Summit of Medical Associations on Achieving UNHLM Targets to End TB’, on 1-2 June 2024 in Kochi, India. 

The participants in the meeting were the leadership of the Commonwealth Medical Association and professional medical associations from 12 countries that account for about 60% of the global TB burden and include a significant proportion of people seeking care in the private sector.

Ending TB needs the engagement of public and private sector providers and support from the medical associations in countries and, often, we forget the respect, professionalism and convening power they bring in this effort.

The meeting ended with the “Kochi Declaration 2024” signed by all participating medical associations which encapsulates the commitments made by the associations.

Discussions in the meeting focused on the role and contribution of professional medical associations in achieving the targets and commitments of the 2023 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis. Meeting participants shared best practices in leadership, policy advocacy and private-sector TB care, and discussed challenges and opportunities. Participants visited an innovative local private health care sector-led TB response called “STEPS” and appreciated how the private health care sector is leading in providing high-quality diagnosis and treatment services in a highly efficient and client-friendly manner. 

Dr. RV Asokan, President of the IMA and Alternate Board Member of Stop TB Partnership representing the PSP constituency while expressing his happiness over the role played by the IMA in convening and hosting the meeting in a IMA owned facility in Kochi said, “The meeting highlighted how one profession with one voice across several countries can end TB globally”.  

Dr. Suvanand Sahu, Deputy Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership said, “We need leaders among different stakeholder groups to eliminate TB. It was amazing to see the leadership of professional medical associations as they discussed TB and issued the Kochi Declaration.”

Dr. Erlina Burhan, Board member of Stop TB Partnership representing the PSP constituency said, “This was a landmark meeting which has added a network of committed leaders of the medical profession and private sector health care to the global fight against TB and has expanded our PSP constituency.”