AFRICA: TB/SABANEWS/7/11/17 SABANews 1
JOHANNESBURG – The AU Partnership and Coordination Forum on AIDS, TB and Malaria has reviewed the draft Common AFRICA Position on TB for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting in 2018.
A statement from the continental group says the Draft Common Position on TB was last month reviewed by the Ministry of Health TB Program Managers in HARARE, ZIMBABWE.
It says the document focuses on SIX pillars: leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability; universal and equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support.
Others are access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies; research and innovation; health financing and strategic information; promoting leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability.
The draft calls for sustained political commitment and for increased leadership, ownership, integration, governance and management of TB programs to promote accountability.
It further calls on governments to intensify TB responses through working with AFRICAN leaders as champions, cross-sector partnerships, increased oversight and accountability, improved monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
The AU says while recognising structural and operational barriers to achieve universal access, the draft calls for Member States to scale up TB programs to reach, find, treat and cure all people with the killer disease.
It also calls for Multi Drug Resistant TB to be declared a global emergency and health security threat, to ensure it can be addressed properly in most affected countries.
The draft calls for access to TB services in congested settings, high risk areas like prisons, mines and areas affected by conflict and humanitarian emergencies, to help guarantee no one is left behind.
The Common AFRICA Position calls for governments to pursue new innovations and ensure access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies for TB.
The draft says governments should strengthen ties with research institutions to enhance innovation and evidence-informed policies and programs as well as increased investments in research and innovation.
AFRICA will also push for increased domestic and international funding to health through innovative financing mechanisms, social health insurance schemes and increased allocations at various levels.
The Common AFRICA Position also calls for improved data to inform policy and programs for TB, while the AU Commission has lined up various consultation conferences ahead of the UN meeting.
TB is spread through the air from person to person, when a patient coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings; and people nearby may breathe in the bacteria and become infected./Sabanews/cam