Stop TB Partnership

TB advocates get fired up in Bangkok

The Stop TB Partnership, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Activists’ Coalition on Tuberculosis Asia-Pacific (ACT! Asia-Pacific) hosted a workshop last week to support strategic partnerships and regional advocacy in the fight to end tuberculosis (TB).

TB advocates in the Asia-Pacific region convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 23 - 25 January 2018 for a workshop aimed at strengthening community TB advocacy and engagement. The gathering followed a similar workshop in Belarus from 11 - 13 December with advocates from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, and another in Panama from 27 - 29 November with advocates from the Americas.

In Bangkok, activists from across Asia and the Pacific were joined by members of national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from the region, as well as representatives from World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS. Choub Sok Chamreun and Elvi Siahaan, Co-Chairs of ACT! Asia-Pacific, called this "a significant partnership in what is a landmark year for TB." They went on to say, "Without adopting a human rights-based, gender-sensitive and community- and people-centered approach, we will not end TB. Together, with Stop TB, IFRC, WHO, UNAIDS and other partners, we can achieve this paradigm shift as we all play our role to save millions of lives, and prevent millions more becoming ill."

Viorel Soltan from Stop TB Partnership reflected that "the spirit of partnership and innovation laid the foundations for a more targeted TB response, enabling us to find the missing people with TB; compassion and community responses to TB increase access of TB prevention, diagnostics, treatment, care and support services for all people who need them, and ultimately, to end TB."

The workshop highlighted the importance of effective, meaningful engagement of civil society and affected communities for the 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB. Partnerships with Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and strategic advocacy were also among the topics of discussion.

Additional Stop TB-IFRC regional advocacy workshops are expected to be held in the coming months in the regions of Africa and the Middle East.