26 October 2018 ¦The Hague, The Netherlands - The 2018 Kochon Prize was awarded on Tuesday, 23 October to Minister of Health of South Africa Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and to the Global TB Caucus for outstanding political leadership to end TB. Mr Mualidi Ntahondi Nyamlenganwa, of the volunteer group MKUTA, based in Tanzania, received an honorary award from the Stop TB Partnership for Community Leadership and Mobilization.
The Kochon Prize is fully funded by the South Korea based Kochon Foundation, and Mr. Doohyun Kim, Chairman of the foundation, presented the awards along with Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
The prize given during an evening organized by the Stop TB Partnership, recognizes outstanding achievements in TB. The event was attended by over 200 TB leaders who shared their views on the importance of bold leadership across all disciplines to ensure delivery on the United Nations Political Declaration on TB adopted at the recent High-Level Meeting on TB in New York. Tamaryn Green, Miss South Africa 2018, TB survivor herself, shared the stage with the lively performances from Zambian star singer BFlow.
Nominated by TB Proof, a South African NGO, Minister Motsoaledi is globally recognized as a formidable Global Health and TB political leader.
The Global TB Caucus, nominated by Sir Alimuddin, is the second winner of the Kochon Prize 2018. The Global TB Caucus is a unique international network of political representatives who work across geographical and political divides engaging civil society and other stakeholders to fight against TB.
The two co-chairmen, The Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP and Minister Aaron Motsolaedi accepted the award.
Throughout the evening leaders from various sectors spoke about the importance and urgent need for courageous leadership across disciplines to deliver on the UN Political Declaration on TB. The Stop TB Partnership took the opportunity to acknowledge strong leadership in Tanzania and, in particular, the commitment of Dr. Beatrice Mutayoba, Programme Manager of the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme, and Honorable Oscar Mukasa, Chair of the National TB Caucus Tanzania, for ensuring that TB response in Tanzania is people-centered and community driven.
"We might be the ones who write the guidelines, but they were the ones who swallow the pills. MKUTA members know and understand the pain of TB and so their support to communities and people with TB is the backbone of our program", said Dr Mutayoba.
To acknowledge and celebrate the work of exceptional community work, the Stop TB Partnership together with Dr Mutayoba and Honorable Mukasa awarded the prize for outstanding community mobilization to Mr Mualidi Ntahondi Nyamlenganwa, the leader of the patient support group MKUTA.
"He works night and day. He knows his community inside out and supports every person with TB", said Dickens Bwana, Program’s Director MKUTA. "With Mr Mualidi Ntahondi Nyamlenganwa driving this project we have every confidence that we will succeed," said Mrs. Olive Mumba, Executive Director, EANNASO. Mr Mualidi Ntahondi Nyamlenganwa accepted the award explaining that it is his personal experience with TB that drives him always to work harder. "I don’t want people to have to go through what I did and to feel alone. MKUTA is there for our people with TB", he said.
The Kochon Prize, consisting of a USD 65,000 award, has been given annually for the past 12 years to individuals and/or organisations that have made a highly significant contribution to ending TB, a disease that is curable but still causes the deaths of 4,500 people every day.
Minister of Health of South Africa and Stop TB Partnership Board Chair, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi assumed office in 2009. Under his leadership he has ensured the widespread roll-out of GeneXpert as the initial diagnostic test for TB, the decentralization of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) care, the adoption of urinary TB LAM to diagnose TB in people with advanced HIV and has facilitated the introduction of an injectable-free drug-resistant TB regimen in South Africa. He has also mobilized high-level political interest internationally. He was instrumental in convening the first Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in Moscow last year and is widely credited for his role in calling the landmark United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on TB that took place in September 2018.
The Global TB Caucus was founded on the belief that political leaders can, and must, do more if the global community is to achieve the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals and end TB by 2030. Since its foundation, the Global TB Caucus has been led by its two co-chairmen, The Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP, from the United Kingdom and Minister Aaron Motsolaedi, Health Minister for South Africa. Under their chairmanship, the Global TB Caucus has grown from an initial meeting of just ten parliamentarians into a global network with the support of over 2500 members in more than 130 countries. Among many other achievements, the Global TB Caucus has led international campaigns which have seen TB acknowledged at the G7 and G20 for the first time, and it was instrumental in securing the UN High-Level Meeting on TB.
Mr Mualidi Ntahondi Nyamlenganwa, the leader of the patient support group MKUTA is a TB survivor. This year alone, under his supervision his team connected nearly 1000 people to TB health services and are now supporting over a hundred people with confirmed TB.
MKUTA and EANNASO together with the support of Dr Mutayoba and the NTLP are currently implementing a community e-health tool called OneImpact TB Janja which aims to empower people with TB with information on TB, connect people with TB in a virtual space and to provide a medium for people to report the problems they face throughout treatment.