Video documents national champions as they work to raise awareness about TB

29 February 2012 - Geneva - In December 2011, nine celebrities from Georgia, Ghana, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa and Sudan gathered in Geneva to share their experiences and views on what it takes to be a strong national TB champion.

Today, the Stop TB Partnership has launched the first in a series of videos documenting their visit which was co-hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The video, Champions in action against tuberculosis, follows the celebrities as they discuss how to raise awareness about TB at a workshop in Geneva and visit a treatment programme in Italy. It is available on the Stop TB Partnership's YouTube channel.

At the workshop, the ambassadors shared their experiences and their views on what it takes to be a strong national TB champion. All agreed that public reputation, charisma, good connections at all levels and a strong interest and belief in the cause of TB are crucial characteristics. They viewed their role as raising awareness about TB at all levels, with special sensitivity to the fact that many people with TB belong to marginalized groups - but also that the disease has a marginalizing impact on anyone affected by it.

Later on the trip, the celebrities briefed members of the Regional Government of Lombardy in Milan about the urgent need for continued financial support for the global fight against TB. Their journey continued to Turin, where they visited a TB treatment programme - part of the Imp.Ac.T project - which is run by the NGO Gruppo Abele with close links to the Italian Red Cross. The project seeks to increase TB and HIV testing among migrants, especially drug users.

Watch the video