Transforming the TB Response – Capacity Building of Communities to be Change Agents

Globally, TB continues to one of the top 10 killers in the world even after a steady increase in political will and commitment to eradicate TB. We believe that one of the reasons for this is the lack of effective engagement of affected communities in the TB response.
Ending TB is only possible by meaningfully engaging with and empowering affected communities to demand the services needed. GCTA has developed training modules for capacity building of affected communities to be “Change agents/TB champions” who can further assist the National TB Programs at country level for finding the missing cases of TB and ensuring timely diagnosis, treatment and care for all those in need. The modules encompass sections on TB basics, advocacy and communication. This module has been extensively reviewed by our partners globally, including partners from Drug user forums, Trans groups, sex worker networks, TB survivor coalitions and our regional coalitions.
The first training is being conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia from 29th April to 2nd May in collaboration with our partner Spiritia, a CSO (est. 1995) to uphold human rights for people infected with HIV in Indonesia.
The participants are representatives of Key population networks in Indonesia. The inaugural session had dignitaries from CDC, KNCV, CCM, NTP, GCTA Board member along with GCTA and Spiritia.
Opening the inaugural plenary GCTA Board Member Elvi Siahaan said, “Indonesia with 17,000 islands is a big country and we have the 3rd place in TB prevalence globally. Unfortunately, our government has limited resources and cannot reach all areas. They need our support. With GCTA’s training modules we will be able to equip the community members to be the change agents and support the national TB program to find the missing cases and ensure that Indonesia can eliminate TB”.
A.Rahmat Hidayat from Spiritia added to this by stating,” As people who work closely with the communities you (the participants) hold the power to be able to eliminate TB from Indonesia and ensure everyone has access to appropriate care and treatment for TB.”
Wiendra Waworuntu from CDC, in her address, attributed trainings like these to be one of the key factors for building the highest degree of public health in a country and create a high quality of life for all.
Erman Varella from KNCV talked about the importance of involving communities and building their capacity.
Blessina Kumar, CEO GCTA, called attention to the number of lives lost every day to a completely curable disease like TB and urged one and all present to work together to make Indonesia TB Free!!

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