Media Call in California

March 10, 2010
by Bruce Preville, RESULTS Regional Coordinator in San Jose, CA

March 24th is World Stop TB Day.

I have been working with an ad hoc committee with members from the California TB Controllers, TB Prevention Partnership, and Breathe California. We are putting together a statewide media call that highlights the success in California in bringing TB case counts down while emphasizing our continuing problem:

Threats to continued adequate funding jeopardize the maintenance of the infrastructure needed to keep the numbers low and to drive them even lower in our fight to control and eventually eliminate TB.

History has taught us that as soon as the number of TB cases starts to decline, funding plateaus and then reduces. We cannot continue to win our fight against TB, especially with the emergence of drug-resistant strains and easy transport of TB across borders, if flat funding continues or further cuts occur. The reservoir of TB infection in California ensures that we must maintain our infrastructure to control TB, or lose control and see a resurgence, or worse. We cannot let the infrastructure crumble, since TB anywhere is TB everywhere.

RESULTS Educational Fund has provided us a mini-grant to support a statewide media call from 10:30 am to 11:15 or 11:30 am on Tuesday, March 23. Plans are being finalized to have the following people on this call: Rachel Orduno, a patient activist with TB PhotoVoice, Frank Alvarez; the LA County TB Controller; a World Health Organization Technical officer; James Watt, the CA State TB Controller; and Rep Mike Honda, CD-16.

Take Action Now!

We would like your help in stimulating news stories in your area by promoting local media outlet participation on this call. Early next week I will provide you a media advisory and a laser talk to support your inviting your local media. Please plan to invite your media between March 15 and March 19, with reminder calls on March 22 and the morning of March 23. You may have been among the California RESULTS folks who supported a similar call for World Stop TB Day in 2006 and 23 media outlets around the state were on that call.

In the next few weeks, please make an effort to educate your local, state, and federal decision makers about the continued need for a strong public health infrastructure domestically and globally to effectively control TB. With the help of your local partners, share with them local media articles generated around World Stop TB Day, facts about TB in your community and around the world.

We will be supplying you with media packets and other information as it is released. Please e-mail me at [email protected] if you have media contacts and want to get involved or have questions.

Best, Bruce

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