Stop TB Partnership launches its Coalition of leaders against TB initiative!

20 September, New York _ The Stop TB Partnership on Tuesday (19 September) launched its Coalition of Leaders to End Tuberculosis (TB) initiative which is meant to lead global efforts to end TB at an event at United Nations Headquarters. The launch came at the start of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) high-level week.
The initiative comes only four days ahead of the upcoming United Nations High Level Meeting on TB (UN HLM on TB) on 22 September and is intended to drive high-level advocacy efforts for both short-, medium- and long-term impact.

The landmark initiative was conceived in Varanasi, India in March during this year’s World TB Day and was announced during the 36th Stop TB Board meeting. The Coalition of Leaders is a high-level advocacy campaign to lead efforts towards ending TB under the leadership of Heads of State and Government.
During the high-level event, Ministers of Health from five countries, representing their Heads of State, H.E. Dr Ethel Maciel, Vice-Minister of Health, Brazil; H.E. Budi G. Sadikin, Minister of Health, Republic of Indonesia; H.E Azhar Giniyat, Minister of Healthcare, Government of Kazakhstan; H.E Susan Nakhumicha, Minister of Health, Republic of Kenya; H.E. Teodoro Herbosa, Secretary of Health, Republic of the Philippines and H.E Dr Joe Phaahla, Minister of Health, Republic of South Africa and Professor Tumani Nagu, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, United Republic of Tanzania shared their countries progress on the TB response, enabled and powered by their president's vision, leadership and specific initiatives.
Each of the Ministers of Health, representing their leaders, emphasized the agreement of their Presidents to be part of the Coalition and continue to champion the TB cause at the national, regional and global level towards ending TB. It is expected that the leaders of these countries will further raise awareness on TB with other countries that can eventually join the Coalition against TB as well. At the end of the event, they also signed a special board, confirming their commitment to the Coalition of Leaders to end TB.

“Today we recognise, celebrate, and honour the countries and their leaders who inspire global leadership and their commitment to be champions in the fight to end TB. I am so proud to launch this very important initiative today because even with all our efforts, the fight against TB is still not where it should be in terms of awareness and funding. Globally we see that TB is still not placed high on the political agenda. There are moments of sparks, but then it slips to the back of the agenda. With the support of the Coalition of Leaders and with more countries signing up, together I am certain that we will finally be able to end this deadly infectious disease for good,” said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
 “From 2023 onwards, the TB response will need a narrative that demonstrates and accentuates the hard work and efforts of countries, highlights political commitment, and shares achievements in a hopeful and inspiring way as the world works together to end TB by 2030,” added Dr Ditiu.     

At the same time, the coalition will support high-level national engagement and accountability by the respective countries and regions as they strive to end TB by 2030. Leaders of the Coalition are expected to continue demonstrating their leadership on TB efforts while serving as regional and global champions in the movement to end TB by 2030.
Examples of leadership should include regular TB-centered discussions within cabinets, status reviews of national TB responses including assessments and analyses of progress towards announced targets and commitments. Leaders should also ensure strong and active engagement of national stakeholders, particularly civil society, and TB survivors, as well as the private sector (care providers and businesses), technical partners, academia and researchers, donors etc.
It is also expected that the members of the Coalition will help oversee global TB progress, convening annually to report on their nations and global TB progress against the UN High Level Meeting on TB 2023 Political Declaration.
The Coalition of Leaders initiative builds on the leadership, vision, commitment, and actions shown by the Honorable Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, and the Presidents of Brazil, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Moldova, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Viet Nam as they ambitiously and determinedly drive forward the TB response.

Speaking at the meeting, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) leadership expressed their support for the initiative. Timur Abdullayev, two times TB survivor and Stop TB Partnership Board Member, TBpeople, Community Representative and Constituency Focal Point for the Stop TB Partnership Community Delegation in Uzbekistan closed the meeting.

As the event drew to a close, the Ministers of Health from Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa along with the Assistant Minister of Brazil and Tanzania’s Chief of Medical services signed a plaque, a symbolic act to reiterate their commitment to keep up with the TB response in their countries, inspiring others to follow suit, under the umbrella of the Coalition of Leaders Against TB.