Stop TB Partnership

2009 Year in Review

2009 was a year rich in promising developments and significant events. What follows are selected highlights.

January/February

  • The Stop TB Partnership and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding cooperation between the two organizations. The MOU articulates specific objectives for cooperation in core activity areas, including support to Global Fund grantees by the Global Drug Facility and the Green Light Committee; coordination of technical assistance through TBTEAM; and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Two new national partnerships were launched in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: the Stop TB Partnership Afghanistan and Stop TB Partnership Syria. The mission of the Afghanistan Stop TB Partnership is to ensure that every TB patient in Afghanistan has access to effective diagnosis, treatment, and cure; stop transmission of TB in the country; and reduce the inequitable social and economic toll of TB. The Syrian partnership is an initiative of the Ministry of Health, the Syrian Society for Combating Tuberculosis, WHO and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, among others. Dr Hussein A. Gezairy, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, was present at both launches.

March/April

  • More than 1300 people from every region of the world gathered at the Centro de Convenções Sul América in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 3rd Stop TB Partners’ Forum. The crowd included ministers from countries heavily affected by TB; representatives of donor country governments, international organizations and corporations; activists, former TB patients and researchers. The Rio Recommendations, which were developed during the forum, will give guidance to the Coordinating Board, Working Groups, Constituencies, Secretariat and other partnership bodies on actions required to address the concerns and priorities of Stop TB Partners for the next five years.
  • The UN Foundation launched a donation portal that allows individuals to make direct donations to the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility (GDF). The UN Foundation is a charitable organization that serves as an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help it solve global problems. Donations will go towards the purchase of anti-TB drugs and distribution to countries by GDF.
  • At a ministerial meeting on drug-resistant TB in Beijing, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chinese government announced a $33 million project for research on diagnostics and treatments for drug-resistant TB and improving surveillance. At the three-day meeting— organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Chinese government and the Gates Foundation and attended by ministers and senior officials from 27 countries worst-affected by drug-resistant TB Director-General Margaret Chan warned that the global epidemic of drug-resistant TB is poised to spin out of control and urged countries to fight the growing threat.
  • A national Stop TB Partnership was launched in the Dominican Republic. HE Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, First Lady of the Dominican Republic and HE Rafael Alburquerque, the country’s Vice President, were present. HE Dr Bautista Rojas, Minister of Health, praised the Global Drug Facility for its role in improving access to anti-TB drugs and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for the technical assistance it has provided to his country. Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, was in attendance.

May/June

  • UNITAID approved fresh funding for two ongoing projects aimed at curbing MDR-TB: the MDR-TB Scale-up Initiative and EXPAND-TB. The MDR-TB Scale-up Initiative seeks to increase the number of patients receiving second-line drugs and improve market dynamics for these drugs. A grant of US$ 16 384 000 will allow the Global Drug Facility(GDF) and Green Light Committee -- both of which are Stop TB Partnership initiatives hosted by WHO -- to scale up treatment of MDR-TB in India from 2010 through 2012.
  • The Stop TB Partnership welcomed the passing of World Health Assembly resolution WHA 62.15, "Prevention and control of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis". The Resolution agrees to strengthen measures to make access to M/XDR-TB diagnosis and quality treatment universal and endorses strict quality standards for the provision of anti-TB drugs and efforts to limit their misuse.
  • The animated version of the comic book, Luis Figo and the World Tuberculosis Cup, was premiered at a charity football match in Geneva. Viewers included an audience of nearly 12 000 spectators and satellite television viewers in 80 countries. In the film, as in the comic book, Stop TB Ambassador Luis Figo is featured as the captain of a team of teen-aged girls and boys. Together they win a match against a squad of tuberculosis germs.

July/August

  • At a session called "Partnerships in health–lessons from multi-stakeholder initiatives", Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, addressed the delegates of the High-Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council about the Stop TB Partnership's achievements and the challenges it faces.
  • A Stop TB Partnership delegation paid a high-level visit to South Africa in July, greeted by Deputy President Kgalema Motlan. They also met at length with Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and discussed the findings of the recent TB programme review led by WHO and several partners, which found that management of TB has significantly improved in South Africa since 2005.
  • In their joint declaration Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future, the leaders of the G8 Summit pledged to implement further efforts towards universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010, with particular focus on prevention and integration of services for HIV/TB. A separate Experts' Report called for strengthening of basic TB control, management of MDR/XDR TB; integrated HIV-TB care and increased availability of labs and diagnostics.

September/October

  • A high-level delegation of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board was joined by Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, for a mission to Kigali, Rwanda on the occasion of the 59th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa. In his remarks to the delegates, Dr Sampaio praised African health ministers for progress they have made on TB, while urging stronger leadership. In the course of a special session on TB control participants looked at progress achieved since the 2005 Regional Committee's African TB emergency declaration.
  • Partners in Morocco came together to unveil a new Stop TB national partnership. Ms Yasmina Badou, Health Minister of Morocco and Stop TB Ambassador Anna Cataldi announced the fledgling partnership's launch at the closing of a two-day conference on tuberculosis care attended by some 300 delegates.
  • Dr Jorge Sampaio reported back on his TB/HIV Commitment to assembled participants at the September meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. One year earlier Dr Sampaio formally had endorsed this commitment to increase engagement of global leaders in supporting coordination of tuberculosis and HIV services and ensure that their Ministries of Health implement nationwide programmatic scale up and capacity building for these combined services.

November/December

  • The Partnership released a 2006-2008 Progress Report on the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015. The report finds that important strides were achieved from 2006 through 2008 in reaching the milestones of the Global Plan to Stop TB, but that there remain serious challenges to meeting the Plan's targets.
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Board of Directors approved 34 TB proposals, with the highest level of funding to date -- up to $US 1.5 billion over five years -- in Round 9. TB proposals had a success rate of 61%, compared to 47% for HIV proposals and 55% for malaria. WHO and seven other Stop TB Partners supported all but three countries for the application process, and this support was coordinated by TBTEAM, which also developed planning tools used by virtually all applicants.
  • The 2009 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends 2005-2008 was released by the Treatment Action Group (TAG), an HIV and TB advocacy think tank, and the Stop TB Partnership. The report finds that research funding for tuberculosis increased just 7% between 2007 and 2008; and shows that lack of funding is the main obstacle to progress on developing a highly sensitive quick blood or urine test for active TB disease, new drugs and an effective vaccine. In 2008, for the first time since TAG began reporting on TB research funding, philanthropic grants outstripped government funding for TB research.
  • On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Stop TB visited Ethiopia and Kenya in a mission organized by the Stop TB Partnership in close collaboration with UNAIDS. In a series of high-level meetings Dr Sampaio reiterated his call to reduce the number of people living with HIV who die unnecessarily of TB. In Nairobi, Mr Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sports, Development, and Peace joined Dr Sampaio at a football tournament for boys and girls aged 12 to 14.
  • The 2010-2011 World TB Day campaign, On the move against tuberculosis: Innovate to accelerate action, was launched at the opening ceremony of the World Conference on Lung Health of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease on 4 December. The campaign's web site also went live.
  • A call for proposals for the third round of the Challenge Facility for Civil Society was announced. This round will provide much needed funds (between US$ 5,000 - USD 20,000) to community-based civil society organizations whose work focuses on advocacy and social mobilization activities in countries affected by TB.