Stop TB Partnership

Global Coalition of TB Activists selects new leadership team


30 September 2013 - The Global Coalition of Tuberculosis Activists (GCTA) has selected a chair, vice-chair and six regional representatives to sit on its Global Steering Committee, the governing body that will lead the GCTA and set its strategic direction.

The individuals selected are:

Chair - Blessina Kumar (India)

Ms Kumar has extensive experience working at grass root, district, national, regional and international level. She has worked with neglected communities in India and the Sudan and has served as community representative on the Stop TB Partnership’s DOTS Expansion Working Group, community representative on the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board and Vice-Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board. Ms Kumar was selected for her experience and knowledge of the Stop TB Partnership and its partners, as well as her involvement in the GCTA since it was formed in March 2013.

Vice-Chair - Mayowa Joel (Nigeria)

Mr Joel has significant experience in promoting health and development issues. He provides technical assistance and manages programmes on development and public health including programmes on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. He is the current Coordinator for the Community, Poverty and Advocacy Subgroup of the Stop TB Partnership’s New Diagnostics Working Group and is also a member of the Global Fund Developing Country Nongovernmental Organization Delegation (NGO) and the UNITAID Civil Society Contact Group. Mr Joel was selected for his experience and his current engagement with different groups and networks.

Regional Representatives

African Region - Mr Albert Makone (Zimbabwe)

A global health advocate based in Zimbabwe, Mr Makone’s areas of work include access to treatment for TB and HIV patients and equity in human development. He has country-level experience, advocating for community participation in health, as well as global experience through his role as a Community Representative in the New TB Drugs Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership. Mr Makone is connected to regional networks, most notably as a steering committee member of the AFrican Coalition on Tuberculosis (ACT!).

Region of the Americas - Mr Alberto Colorado (USA)

Mr Colorado was chosen for his extensive experience fighting TB and HIV/AIDS with different countries, governments, civil society organizations, international public health organizations and patient associations in the Americas. As a strong promoter of the Patient’s Charter for TB Care and the International Standards for TB Care, he has provided educational and emotional support to multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB patients living in Peru and Mexico. He is currently a member of the Global TB Community Advisory Board for Treatment Action Group as well as a member of the Stop TB USA Patients Community Forum.

Eastern Mediterranean Region - Mr Pervaiz Tufail (Pakistan)

Mr Tufail has worked with national and international organizations and communities for more than 13 years. He has worked with National TB Programmes to involve and empower people affected by TB and supported local, regional and global initiatives to develop community organizations and patient groups working to increase demand for new drug development and the health, protection, care and support of TB patients. At the global level, Mr Pervaiz has served as a Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board member and has been a Community Advisory Committee member for the Open Society Institute.

European Region - Marija Subataite (Lithuania)

Ms Subataite has worked with the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) for ten years, during which time the organization has made TB a priority. She is leading the organization’s work on TB which includes building partnerships with stakeholders in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, delivering capacity building training and developing training modules on TB services for people who use drugs and a handbook for TB outreach workers. The structure of EHRN allows feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, and has an already established network with civil society organizations working in the region.

Western Pacific Region - Louie Zepeda (the Philippines)

Ms Zepeda is a former TB Meningitis patient whose vision was impaired due to an incorrect diagnosis and the side effects of treatment. After she was cured, she has engaged with various organizations dealing with disability and has worked on empowering patients.

South East Asia Region - Majoj Pardeshi (India)

Mr Pardeshi brings with him a wealth of experience in the field of HIV. He has worked for more than 14 years with People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), governments, NGOs, community organizations and funding agencies towards policy change to meet the different needs of PLHIV. He has in-depth understanding of the social, political, economic dimensions of HIV and TB co-infection as well as extensive experience of advocacy and lobbying.

The first meeting of the newly formed Steering Committee of the GCTA will be held in Paris, on 26 October 2013. The objective of the meeting will be to set priorities for the coalition and to determine method of working and communicating.

About the Global Coalition of Tuberculosis Activists (GCTA)

Formed in March 2013, the GCTA is a coalition of representatives of communities affected by TB that aims to bring together activists from diverse backgrounds and regions to ensure that affected communities are at the centre of the fight against TB.

The coalition is governed by a steering committee comprised of a Chair, Vice-Chair, the two community representatives on the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board and six regional representatives. More information on the governance of the GCTA is available in the GCTA Constituency Charter.

Membership to GCTA is open to all individuals who are personally affected by TB and/or represent high burden communities. Membership is also open to organization working on TB at ground level. To join the group, send an email to the GCTA list serv: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/stbp-community-representatives