14 April 2015 - Paris, France - The 26th Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board meeting hosted by France at the French Ministry of Health opened in Paris today. The high-level Board meeting is chaired by the Minister of Health for South Africa and Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board, Dr Aaron Motsoledi and the Vice Chair, Dr Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS USA.
The Board meeting was also attended by Ministers of Health and representatives from France, Brazil, India and Mozambique as well as heads of the agencies from UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria, and UNITAID, and the newly-appointed United Nations Special Envoy for TB, Dr Eric Goosby.
France's Minister of Health, Social Welfare and Women's Rights, Ms Marisol Touraine welcomed the Board to France and stressed the importance of TB as a shared responsibility to build accessible health systems, and called for continued mobilization at the national, regional and global level to end TB as an epidemic and reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
Opening the morning's session on BRICS and TB, the Vice Chair Dr Carter said, "Thank you so much Minister Motsoaledi for your bold efforts with other BRICS leaders on TB, including those in the room, for your bold targets for screening vulnerable groups launched in South Africa on World TB Day, and for your work to make TB a priority globally. Minister Touraine, we’re very grateful for your hosting us and for your important comments today, and I would like to acknowledge the enormous importance of France’s leadership and continued support in the fight against TB."
"We are at a turning point in TB control with promising new tools, increased political commitments globally and shared responsibility from affected countries. We are welcoming France hosting this Board Meeting, a country historically a leader in global public health -- but now, is not the time to decrease donor funding even in tough economic times like these. Within a tight budget, leaders in the North must understand that investing in TB is a smart choice for the future to avoid heavier costs in treatment, care and loss of human lives and productivity," said Patrick Bertrand, Executive Director of Global Health Advocates Paris who supported the Stop TB Partnership in organizing the Board meeting in France.
Briefing documents from the Coordinating Board meeting are available on the Stop TB Partnership website. Decision points will be made available at the end of the two-day meeting tomorrow.
The Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board provides leadership and direction, monitors the implementation of agreed policies, plans and activities of the Partnership, and ensures smooth coordination among Stop TB Partnership components.