Guest Blog Post from our Friends at GFAN Africa!
GFAN Africa jointly with Run4TB mobilized in-country partners for letter writing, a jam session, social media and print media activities to mark World TB Day 2021. A letter addressed to Ministers for Health asked the Ministers to engage communities in planning and implementing strong, integrated TB and COVID-19 mitigation and response measures; to review, update and implement TB policies by the end of 2022 to align with the latest WHO and internationally recognized guidelines; and to participate in the next step up for TB survey on TB policies. The letter further asked the Ministers to lead the implementation of the UN political declaration on TB by December 2022 to outline progress, next steps and support the UN Secretary General’s proposal to hold a follow up High-level meeting on TB in 2023.
The letter was sent to Ministers for Health in Eswatini, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Malawi. In Nigeria, a goodwill message with excerpts from the Letter to the Minister for Health was presented at a press briefing organized by the Honorable Minister for Health to mark World TB Day.
Excerpts from the letter were published in newspapers in Ghana, Malawi, Eswatini and Zimbabwe by eight media houses.
Further, the letter was sent to the Commissioner and the Head of Division for Health at the Africa Union Commission urging their office to encourage countries to adopt the recommendations in the Step for TB and the deadly divide reports and to meet their UNHLM commitments and targets.
A one hour live jam session was part of the World TB Day activities. A live band sang songs on ending TB with interludes of discussions on the urgent need to end TB with viewers sending their comments in real time. During the session, Naomi Wanjiru a GFAN speaker urged that TB should not be forgotten amid the COVID-19 pandemic.