30 November 2017

Last November 17, more than seventy ministers agreed to take urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030. The announcement came at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response. The Moscow Declaration contains commitments on four fronts:

  • Move rapidly to achieve universal health coverage by strengthening health systems and improving access to people-centered TB prevention and care, ensuring no one is left behind.
  • Mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through increased domestic and international investments to close gaps in implementation and research.
  • Advance research and development of new tools to diagnose, treat, and prevent TB.
  • Build accountability through a framework to track and review progress on ending TB, including multisectoral approaches.

While this Declaration puts a political spotlight on the pandemic, ACT! AP is still concerned that the Ministerial Declaration needs a further push to once and for all end the TB epidemic. With 62% of cases in 2016 recorded in Asia-Pacific and 11 of the 30 high-burden countries found in the region, ACT! AP calls on Ministries of Health and Heads of State to commit and prioritize communities and regional targets on TB. The coalition highlights on the following:

  1. Close the gap on regional and country targets to find, diagnose, and provide quality treatment to all people with TB by shifting from a patient-centered to a people-centered approach to tuberculosis and supporting meaningful participation of key population and affected communities, which are, but not limited to, people who have TB and MDR-TB, TB survivors, people living with HIV, people with disability, people living in poverty, children and adolescents, miners, mobile populations and migrants, people who use drugs, and incarcerated populations.
  2. Close the financial gap of USD2.3B for TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment among low- and middle-income countries, and 1.3B for TB research and development. Ministeries need to commit clear domestic financial targets and explore innovative financing, international donors to commit to increased international support targets.
  3. Recognize and capitalize on the role of affected communities in the TB response as central to ending the TB epidemic.
  4. Ahead of the High-Level Meeting on TB, clear and strong accountability and reporting mechanisms that the UNGA can commit to track the progress of countries, especially in Asia-Pacific against the TB epidemic.

This call is in line with ACT! AP  “Commitments to Action” as well as the endorsed Global Civil Society and Communities statement ahead of the Moscow Ministerial Conference.

“As ACT! AP, we welcome this political commitment of Ministries of Health to finally end TB through the Ministerial Declaration. However, we need more than commitment, we want to see action and communities at the center and leading the TB response globally and in the region. Without us, we will never get to the end of TB.”

Blessi Kumar

GCTA, ACT! AP Steering Committee member

“With the High-Level Meeting happening in less than a year, the Ministerial Declaration sets the tone and the coverage of what the world needs to do to end this pandemic. Now is the time for us civil society to ACT and be more vigilant.”

Choub Sok Chamreun

KHANA, ACT! AP Co-chair

 

About ACT! AP

The Activists’ Coalition on TB Asia-Pacific (ACT! AP) is a regional coalition of individuals and community and civil society groups working for effective, people-centred, rights-based, and sufficiently and strategically resourced TB responses. The coalition has brought together more than 30 activists organizations and individuals around one goal: end the tuberculosis epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region. ACT! AP works to ensure that the concerns and the priorities of those affected by tuberculosis stay at the centre of the agenda in the Asia-Pacific region.

ACT! AP is currently being hosted by APCASO. For more information, contact APCASO secretariat@apcaso.org or visit our website at https://www.apcaso.org.