Key Ask 3: Transform TB response to be equitable, rights-based, people-centred

The first ever United Nations High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Tuberculosis (TB) will convene in New York on 26 September. The theme is United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic. The meeting must generate action urgently needed to End TB. The Union is advocating for priority actions countries should implement.

The HLM will produce a political declaration on TB. The Union calls on UN member states to include five commitments within the declaration.

Key Ask 3: Transform TB response to be equitable, rights-based, people-centred

The Union calls on UN member states to transform the TB response to be equitable, rights-based and people-centred. Specifically:

  • Enact and implement policies recognising people’s right, including key populations, to know their TB status—whether active or latent TB—and to receive accessible, affordable and equitable access to care and services.
  • Remove discriminatory laws against people with TB and promote rights-based laws, policies and practices that enable access to services. End TB-related stigma and discrimination, and prevent TB transmission in work places, schools and other congregant settings by 2020.
  • Facilitate equitable access and universal uptake of new TB drugs, diagnostics and vaccines, ensuring that cost is not a barrier to access of quality diagnostics and treatments. Align and harmonise regulatory pathways to fast-track the uptake and implementation of new tools, including utilising TRIPS flexibilities where needed.
  • It is an open secret that health systems neglect children and adolescents with TB. They should receive equal recognition in the HLM programme, political declaration and accountability framework.

How The Union is transforming the TB response to be equitable, rights-based, people-centred

Stigma has long been recognised within the TB community as a barrier to ending the disease. It is a complex and challenging issue involving associations with poverty, social marginalisation, and the risk of transmission and death.

The Union is proactively tackling TB stigma in all its work. Read our statement on stigma, published on World TB Day.

The Union is also fighting head-on the silent epidemic of child TB, this year publishing an important report on how children are being systemically neglected in current approaches to TB prevention and diagnosis. The report condemns this open secret -- that health systems neglect children with TB because children are less contagious than adults and because the standard tools used to diagnose TB work less well in children. Read the full report.

Photo above shows former TB patient four year old Françoise and her mother Kassubo at their home in Wakiso district, Entebbe, Uganda, following six months of TB treatment under The Union’s DETECT CHILD TB Programme. Image credit: Javier Galliano