Latin American workshop on civil society’s fight against tuberculosis focuses on helping countries understand Global Fund’s new funding model

17 July 2014 - Lima, Peru - Community representatives from eight countries got together in Lima for the inauguration of a Latin American Workshop that was held in order for countries to understand the issues surrounding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’s New Funding Model, and their role in that process.

Peru’s Deputy Minister of Public Health, Dr. José del Carmen Sara highlighted the importance of the participation of civil society actions to perform surveillance, prevention and care of tuberculosis (TB) and thus more effectively confront the disease.

"It is important to involve civil society in monitoring public actions, and also to reverse those elements that are often barriers to treatment, such as abandonment. In our country, in some regions it is the treatment led to the patients' homes by health advocates, members of civil society that make an important role to reverse this disease," he said.

This initiative can be replicated and be for the benefit of affected people, serve as the impetus for reducing treatment dropout or generate innovative mechanisms to facilitate access to drugs for the most vulnerable populations, said Dr Sara.

"There are other fields of action in which civil society is involved at different levels and other sectors besides health. They have in their hands remedies to the risks to which the population is subject such as overcrowding, unemployment, addictions, alcoholism, violence, family dysfunction, and other elements. From the Ministry of Health, we contribute to these efforts, we believe that the civil society there is critical to help in these areas of leadership action", said the Deputy Minister.

The "Regional Workshop on the New Funding Mechanism of the Global Fund" focuses on training participants on Community Systems Strengthening, Human Rights, Gender and Involvement of People Affected by Tuberculosis will run until 18 July.

The workshop is organized by the Stop TB Partnership and the Global Coalition of Tuberculosis Activists (GCTA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Partners in Health Branch Peru (SES). Representatives from civil society and TB activists from Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and El Salvador attended the meeting.

It aims to enable participants coming from communities affected by tuberculosis to monitor the processes of the New Funding Mechanism of the Global Fund and support the significant participation of the people affected by TB in the development of Global Fund concept notes.

"The goal is that civil society will be better prepared to get involved in the Global Fund process in their countries, and to explore the viability of a Latin American Network in which experiences, more communication and good practices will be shared among all these nations. With that, we hope to help the respective country programs to improve TB care", said Leonid Lecca, CEO of Partners in Health - Peru Branch.

It is one of the first times that community representatives from these countries meet to know and understand the issues of Global Fund financing, and their role in that process. It also allows us to present the post-2015 strategies that put the patient in the centre of the TB response, and this workshop listens to those affected by TB, the civil society and the communities ignored in the past and were not traditionally involved, said Alberto Colorado from the Global Coalition of TB Activists.