15 August 2011 - Geneva - Today is a very important day for all people committed to making tuberculosis (TB) care available to all who need it.
It marks the launch of Round 11 of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
2015, the year during which we have committed to meet the MDGs and the targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB, is just around the corner. We will not meet those targets unless we speed up implementation and scale up now.Round 11 provides a unique and timely opportunity to move forward. We cannot afford to lose it!
The Stop TB Partnership wants to make it as easy as possible for our eligible countries to write high-quality proposals that are specifically tailored to each country's context and are inclusive, sharp and linked to clear gap analysis and budgets.
To this end, a user-friendly web page that includes guidance and tools to help you prepare the best possible proposal and links you to other partners' resources has been established. We encourage you to visit the page often, as new and helpful materials will continually be added to the page.
Today we are launching an email-based Round 11 hotline - email@example.com. We in the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat and colleagues from the WHO Stop TB Department will be on a continuous duty roster, ready to answer questions that come up as you write your proposal. The hotline will remain live until 15 December, the deadline for proposal submission.
Please, feel free also to write to me personally for advice or to share your thoughts or challenges, using the hotline address.
Thinking of TB, I hope we all realize that there is urgent business at hand. We need to push the boundaries and scale up rapidly. We have to reach the approximately 4 million people whose TB goes undetected each year (most of them belonging to vulnerable groups). We need to rapidly improve access to diagnosis and high-quality treatment for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) as we cannot allow nearly 400 000 per year people to go without MDR care. We know what it will take to save a million lives among people living with HIV between now and 2015 by using tried and tested approaches to preventing and treating TB. But we need to scale up and make sure that the TB/HIV interventions are included in TB proposals and, more importantly, in HIV proposals! We know that over five years adequate TB interventions will save the lives of 200 000 children and more than 1.5 million women of childbearing age.
I want to urge you to include in your TB proposals strong components on Civil Society Strengthening and to make sure that community representatives are included in all stages of planning and preparation of your Global Fund proposals. This is essential if we are to really scale up, make a difference and reach the people we need to reach.
I wish all of us good luck.
Let's make Round 11 a TB round - we can do it in Partnership!
Dr Lucica Ditiu
Executive Secretary, Stop TB Partnership<