The Stop TB Partnership celebrated Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day on 12 December in Tokyo, Japan, by co-organizing and participating in discussions that explored how responses to tuberculosis (TB) and strategies to expand UHC can help all those who are in need of TB diagnosis, treatment and care.
The discussions were part of an official side event of 2017 UHC Forum, which was held from 12 - 15 December in Tokyo to encourage action to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to the health services they need.
Entitled "Reaching the underserved and vulnerable: TB responses as a pathway to UHC," the side event was co-organized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ) / Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE), Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA), Stop TB Partnership and World Health Organization.
In addition to a keynote address by UN Special Envoy on TB Eric Goosby, the event included two panels: one focused on political momentum toward UHC and ending TB, which was moderated by Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund, and a second focused on strategic alignment, which was moderated by Suvanand Sahu, Deputy Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
"Today about 40% of people with TB, 60% of children with TB and 80% of people with drug-resistant TB do not have access to appropriate treatment, and this has resulted in TB becoming the biggest killer among infections. It is a great opportunity for Universal Health Coverage efforts to prioritize these millions of underserved people who are missing from life-saving TB care," said Dr Sahu.