The Union's WHO intervention pushes to ensure political leadership fulfil their commitments made at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) meet this week for the first of their bi-annual meetings, where the members agree upon the agenda and the resolutions to be considered at the World Health Assembly. The Union successfully submitted the following intervention pushing to ensure political leadership fulfil their commitments made at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis.

 

144th Session of the WHO Executive Board

Agenda item: 5.8

Follow-up to the high-level meetings of the United Nations General Assembly on health-related issues: ending tuberculosis

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung disease (The Union) is a global scientific organisation founded to advance solutions to the most pressing public health challenges affecting people living in poverty, including tuberculosis.

The Union welcomes WHO’s partnership and engagement with non-state actors working to see that governments fulfill their commitments endorsed within the 2018 Political Declaration on Tuberculosis.

WHO’s participation in initiatives such as FIND.TREAT.ALL#ENDTB is important to keeping TB on the agendas of national governments. The Union recommends complementing such initiatives with the following activities, which WHO should support:

  • Elevate TB prevention as a priority, starting with rapid, routine screening of household contacts and holistic TB care for all affected members of those households, including children and adolescents. Only one in four household contacts under five were screened for TB in 2017, and only half of high TB-HIV burden countries reported data on household contacts with HIV who received TB preventive therapy.
  • Engage new partners. WHO’s 2018 Global tuberculosis report shows undernourishment, HIV, smoking tobacco, diabetes, and harmful use of alcohol are underlying factors in half of TB incidence—calling for stronger collaboration with partners working on these challenges.
  • Identify human rights-based approaches for delivering TB care that have potential for replicability and scalability, and create an online portal where partners can browse models, learn how they work, and make contact with implementers. Government leaders have committed to taking action, but there is great potential for losing momentum when determining how to fulfill commitment. Having the capacity to easily review model approaches can help translate commitments into action.

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