Stop TB supports a fully replenished Global Fund while positioning TB as part of the global UHC agenda

16-18 December 2015, Tokyo, Japan - Last week, Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board’s Chair and South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, and Stop TB Partnership’s Executive Director, Dr Lucica Ditiu, were in Tokyo to participate in the international conference on universal health coverage (UHC) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria’s ("the Global Fund") fifth replenishment preparatory meeting.

Japan hosted the UHC conference, ahead of the G7 Summit, which was attended by 300 people, including Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. During one of the panel sessions, Dr Ditiu highlighted that reaching all those affected by tuberculosis (TB) with the right services while reducing and eliminating out of pocket costs needed to be one of the indicators for UHC.

The following day, the Global Fund presented its investment case for raising USD 13 billion for the 2017-2019 allocation cycle.

The meeting was attended by Mr Bill Gates, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Tedros Adhanom, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah, World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Assistant Director General for HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, and many others.

During the high-level panel session with Mr Bill Gates, Minister Bibeau, and ONE’s Chief Executive Officer, Deb Dugan, Minister Motsoaledi highlighted the need for innovations in addressing TB and HIV and showcased how TB REACH was driving innovations in South Africa, especially in vulnerable groups.

Dr Ditiu presented the TB investment case based on the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020: The Paradigm Shift, which is a costed plan for implementing the first five years of the End TB Strategy.

While in Tokyo, Dr Ditiu presented on the importance of developing new tools - especially a TB vaccine - at a Results Japan organized seminar with the private sector regarding "Infectious Diseases and Roles of Vaccines and Immunization." One of the important takeaway messages was that the cost of inaction in investing in new tools, especially in a TB vaccine, could lead to 1.4 million additional TB deaths and USD 181 billion in lost productivity by 2030.

Dr Ditiu held bilateral meetings with Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki and Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Director General Takao Toda to discuss areas for collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership in the coming year.