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WORLD TB DAY – SOUTH AFRICAN EDITION

Advocating for Change: WACI Health’s Impactful Engagement in World Tuberculosis Day Events

 

World Tuberculosis Day is a crucial moment for organizations like WACI Health to step up their advocacy efforts, and this year was no exception. Through active participation in the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Civil Society Forum (CSF) TB Task Team engagements, WACI Health spearheaded a series of impactful activities leading up to and on WTBD.

The journey began with four build-up activities, setting the stage for the main events on World TB Day. On March 20th, in a powerful display of solidarity, TB Affected Communities joined forces with civil society partners to march to the National Department of Health. Here, they delivered a Memorandum addressing critical issues: vehemently opposing health budget cuts and TB-related deaths, while also urging the government to declare TB as a national emergency.

The momentum continued on March 23rd with a TB Symposium hosted by the Ministry of Health (MoH). The symposium served as a platform to showcase the promising results of the Bedaquiline pilot and underscore the urgent need for scaling up efforts against multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB).

Following the symposium, two Policy in Action sessions took center stage, each led by different sectors. The SANAC CSF Faith-Based Sector focused on raising awareness among youth and parents about TB testing and treatment, emphasizing the importance of early detection and intervention. Meanwhile, the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Sector had the honor of hosting Gauteng Province Political Leaders and the Minister of Health. Prof Dyasi from SANARELA was entrusted with delivering the PLHIV Sector’s Memorandum to the MoH, highlighting key demands concerning HIV and TB.

On World TB Day itself, WACI Health took proactive steps by sending messages to key stakeholders, including the Head of State, Deputy President, MoH, National TB Program (NTP), and TB Caucus. The aim was to remind leaders of their commitments made during the TB High-Level Meeting and advocate for the integration of TB implementation into existing national processes.

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The day culminated in a significant action: the handover of a joint statement from civil society and TB Affected Communities to the South African government. This statement called for adequate funding for SANAC, recognizing it as the primary body supporting civil society and communities in the fight against TB and HIV.

In summary, WACI Health’s engagement in World TB Day events showcased collective efforts to drive meaningful change. By amplifying voices, raising awareness, and advocating for policy reforms, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of ending the TB epidemic in South Africa. 

 

Together, we can make a difference.

 

CategoriesRun4TB

WORLD TB DAY – KENYAN EDITION

WORLD TB DAY – KENYAN EDITION

Yes, We can end TB! 

This year’s World TB Day commemoration in Kenya brought together stakeholders at Kimorori grounds in Murang’a County to declare their interest and  commitment in the fight against TB. In attendance were representatives from the national government, including the Cabinet Secretary for Health Hon. Susan Nakhumicha  and Principal secretary for Public Health  and Professional Standards Hon. Mary Muthoni, County Government officials, Global Partners. Global Fund, USAID, WHO; CSOs, Community Health workers and communities were in attendance.

All  the speakers emphasised a multisectoral approach to tackling TB because it impacts all sectors of  Kenya’s economy, including the education sector. Moreover, there was a common view on the need to include innovation in diagnosis and treatment of TB. Despite notable progress, TB remains a persistent public health challenge in Kenya, with the country being among the 30 high-burden nations for TB.

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Stop TB Partnership Kenya National Coordinator, Evaline Kibuchi

 

Stop TB Partnership Kenya National Coordinator, Evaline Kibuchi applauded the government for its continued support of the fight and urged legislators to continue involving TB in societal conversations. She asked the president, through the Cabinet secretary, to prioritise the government’s fight against TB by increasing Kenya’s health budget, thus increasing resources for health and for TB in particular.

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Cabinet Secretary for Health, Hon. Susan N. Nakumicha

 

The Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Nakhumicha applauded Community Health Workers for their good job in fighting TB at the grassroots level through raising awareness and offering community support. She also appreciated the efforts of global partners in the fight against TB. “As a ministry, we’re shifting our healthcare investment focus from curative to promotive and preventive services. By prioritizing these services, we’ll intensify the fight against TB as we work closely with our collaborators to secure a healthier future for all.” CS Nakhumicha. 

The event was marked by a march to stand in solidarity with communities affected by TB, and honor lives that were lost to TB. There were several TB diagnostic stations that were testing for the infectious disease, as well as celebrating the progress made in prevention and treatment of TB. 

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Phillip Nyakwana, Chair Non State Actors Kenya (left),WACI Health’s Executive Director, Rosemary Mburu (centre), Ag. Director General MoH, Dr. Sultani Matendechero (right)

 

Indeed, we can end TB, everyone has a role to play towards ending TB. 

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