South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi elected as Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board

11 July 2013 - Ottawa, Canada - The Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board has elected Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health of South Africa, as its Chair.

Minister Motsoaledi will take up his new role following the close of the 23rd Coordinating Board meeting, currently taking place in Ottawa, Canada.

"As South Africa’s Minister of Health, I am fully committed to achieving our vision of zero TB deaths and zero new TB infections. But I am also convinced that the only way to stop TB, both nationally and internationally, is through partnership," Minister Motsoaledi said. "This is why I am honoured to take on this additional responsibility and look forward to working to forge transformative alliances involving partners from multiple sectors."

Since joining the Stop TB Partnership Board in 2010, Minister Motsoaledi has played a key role in pushing TB up the political agenda. Together with health leaders from Lesotho and Swaziland, Minister Motsoaledi brought the issue of TB in the mining sector to the attention of Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders in 2011. These efforts resulted in the signing last year of the SADC Heads of State Declaration on TB in the mining sector. In an opinion piece published today in Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, Minister Motsoaledi calls for collaboration across a wide range of partners to drive action on the issue.

"To defeat TB, the Partnership needs a bold and ambitious leader," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "Minister Motsoaledi’s vision for a world free of TB, coupled with his deep personal commitment and inspiring political leadership across the African region and beyond make him the natural choice to take us forward at this critical time."

Minister Motsoaledi was joined at the Ottawa Board meeting by nine new board members. In addition to the five new constituency representatives announced in June, Dr Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr, Secretary of Health Surveillance at the Brazilian Ministry of Health, Shri Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary at India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate, Minister for State for Health at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health and Dr Pe Thet Khin, Union Minister of Health at Myanmar’s Ministry of Health joined the Board as country representatives.

The appointments, which all result from open calls for nominations, follow Coordinating Board reforms that are designed to broaden the base of partners represented on the Board and encourage the development of strong, active constituencies.

Read the opinion piece by Minister Motsoaledi