ACTION’s Annual Partners Meeting Sets Bold Agenda for TB

November 9, 2009
by Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund

ACTION (Advocacy to Control TB Internationally), a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, recently held its largest partners meeting ever in Geneva, Switzerland on October 17–21, with over 25 participants from 8 countries, including ACTION’s newest partner, RESULTS Australia! Partners came together from around the world to plan the biggest “game-changing” strategies that each of our ACTION countries can engage in over the next year to change the course of the TB epidemic in a monumental way.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is one of the most strategic opportunities for increasing much needed funding for TB control globally. ACTION partners created a plan that we hope will help revitalize the Global Fund and ensure continued funding to TB in the coming years. You may have heard of the amazing demonstration that was organized by our partners in Kenya, KANCO, urging Obama not to be “half hearted” on global health and to fully fund the Global Fund. This idea was crafted during our partners meeting, and received coverage from the Wall Street Journal and CNN! Volunteers like you are crucial to advancing this campaign and have amazing power, especially as we’ve seen recently with RESULTS work to gather almost 100 signers for the House Global Fund letter to the administration!

Acknowledging the terrible reality that people are now living with HIV (thanks to anti-retroviral drugs), but are now dying of TB — partners agreed ensuring that every person with HIV gets screened (and gets treatment if needed) for TB. This kind of TB-HIV scale-up is another game changer in our pursuit of saving lives and ending suffering. Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS executive director, has emerged as a champion on this issue, and ACTION met with his whole team while in Geneva to collectively determine how we can transform the prevention and treatment of TB-HIV co-infection. For our advocacy in the U.S., this means a big opportunity to increase funding dedicated to TB-HIV interventions within PEPFAR. We’ve made immense progress already due in large part to your efforts. We must continue to set bold targets for cross-testing, especially since the latest data shows that only two percent of people with HIV are screened for TB!

RESULTS volunteers have had an enormous impact on TB and global health by bringing these issues and others to the forefront of U.S, policy agendas. ACTION partners agree that in every ACTION country, it is time to ramp up these efforts and ensure that all the success we have achieved over the last several years is leveraged to make significant increases in addressing TB. Your continued advocacy will make an enormous difference in millions of lives around the world!

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