Guest Blog – Evaline Kibuchi: Speaking out in Support of the TBHLM | May 30 2018
Evaline Kibuchi the Coordinator Stop TB Partnership Kenya on her visit to Ottawa, Canada to speak to Members of Parliament about the importance of Canada’s participation in the TBHLM.
Globally, tuberculosis (TB) claims more lives than Malaria and HIV combined. In 2016 alone, the infectious disease claimed about 1.7 million lives globally. The TB target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to end the disease by 2030. This calls for innovations and accelerated advocacy to ensure adequate resources towards TB interventions that will realize this goal.
The year 2018 provides a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity for High Level advocacy around the disease. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) allocated a special forum for the heads of states to deliberate on TB and make commitments which, if well implemented, will lead to ending TB by 2030. The session is expected to bring together 193 heads of state together with Ending TB as the common agenda.
ICSS has taken the lead and every opportunity to mobilize stakeholders and heads of state, to not only support and participate in the HLM, but also to sign on to the commitments that will be made at the forum. ICSS has utilized all available platforms for this course.
Opportunity for Advocacy
The Canada Results* Conference was one forum that provided an opportunity not only to sensitize the Canadian body of citizen advocates on TB but also to reach out to the Canada leadership to participate at the UNHLM and support its course. The Conference brought citizen advocates from all over Canada to Ottawa from the 5th to 8th of May. ICSS supported advocates from Africa to attend and share the real impact of the killer disease from the region that bears the heaviest burden of the diseases. The participants were sensitized to the situation of TB globally and the policy gaps that needed their attention. This included the call to the Canadian Prime Minister to participate in the UNHLM.
Photo: Evaline Kibuchi the Coordinator Stop TB Partnership Kenya sharing her experience in TB advocacy in Africa (Photo credit: Maryn Devine)
Canada has been a key leader, not only in TB but in global health as a major contributor of the TB REACH, a multi-lateral funding mechanism primarily supported by Global Affairs Canada, with additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Canadian Government has also been a key supporter and contributor to Global Fund. Canada’s leadership and support are therefore needed at the UNHLM. At the end of the conference, the Canadian Results Citizen advocates took time to lobby MPs in the Canadian Parliament and to reach out to the Prime Minister for his support and participation in the forum.
Over 30 Citizen Advocates visited the office of the Prime Minister requesting the PM to attend the forum.
Photo: Evaline Kibuchi, the Coordinator, Stop TB partnership- Kenya lobbying the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to continue his leadership in global health and support and participate in the UNHLM support through the Chief of Staff, Sabina Saini. (Photo Credit: Maryn Devine)
Global health advocates will continue efforts to mobilize world leaders to participate and endorse the commitments that will be made at the UNHLM. This is the first step towards increasing political will to end TB by 2030.
*RESULTS Canada is a global movement of passionate citizens, committed to raising voices for a world without extreme poverty.