Powerful, Impactful Advocacy Taking Root Abroad

April 8, 2015
by Jennifer Stephens, Senior Associate, Program Development

KANCO (Kenya): KANCO received the unprecedented news that more than 125 Kenyan MPs signed the Barcelona Declaration following a stirring speech on the floor of Parliament by MP Stephen Mule, a  champion developed by KANCO. MP Mule was one of the MPs that visited with KANCO grassroots during their “advocacy day” last August. It was during that session that MP Mule was identified as a potential champion when grassroots learned that he sat on the Parliamentary Health Committee and is a bio-medical engineer with previous medical experience in the TB field. The successful cultivation of this MP started with the grassroots meeting that day! 

In addition to this huge win, KANCO grassroots have been working tirelessly throughout the month on a campaign to address pediatric TB. Attached are letters written by grassroots, as well as a recent article in People Daily on pediatric TB referencing KANCO. Even more exciting is a string of tweets between Dr. Suleh from Mbagathi District Hospital and KANCO grassroots about unfair x-ray fees for pediatric TB patients; an interesting back and forth ensues and is followed by MP Kenneth Okoth from Kibra Constituency. 

KANCO grassroots network continues to flourish. Kajiado is among the 10 counties where KANCO is undertaking grassroots advocacy. Irene Kamau, group leader in Kajiado, recently developing four groups who are currently engaging their County assembly, members of Parliament, and other key decision makers.  Irene was among the delegation that participated in the “advocacy day” last August where she also published a letter to the editor on the need for immunization. 

CITAM+ (Zambia): CITAM+ grassroots visited Parliament and increased the number of Zambian signatures to the Barcelona Declaration. Due to these grassroots efforts, MP Moono Lubezhi, MP Edgar Singombe, Hon. Likando Mufalali (new Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services), and Hon. Sydney Mushanga (Deputy Minister of Education, Kabwe MP) joined Hon. Hamududu as signatories to the declaration representing worldwide political commitment to end TB. This is an important step towards building MP champions from the Global South ahead of the 2nd Global TB Summit to be held in December of this year.

The KANCO and CITAM+ grassroots programs are based on the RESULTS model, and were introduced in Kenya and Zambia respectively in 2014.

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