11 – 13 JUNE 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Our CEO, Blessina Kumar represented GCTA at the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group meeting hosted by WHO in Geneva, Switzerland from the 11 – 13 June 2019 as a member of the WHO Civil Society Task Force on TB (CSTF). She had the opportunity to push for patient-centred rights-based TB response and highlighted the importance of inclusion of affected communities in the recommendations during the meeting. She also met with Director General WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, along with other CSTF members, and had fruitful discussions on the way forward and the role of WHO and the civil society in moving the #ENDTB agenda forward.
The potential role of people affected by TB as powerful policy influencers and stakeholders has largely been untapped. The global TB response has remained primarily top down whereby people affected by TB play little to no role in the TB response. However, after the UNHLM political declaration and WHO End TB Strategy both called for prioritizing strong and meaningful engagement of civil society and affected communities in all aspects of the TB response, WHO revamped its CSTF to strengthen collaboration.
The revamped task force also reflects the commitments made by Dr Tedros to strengthen civil society engagement, as discussed at several consultations with civil society representatives, starting from the Ministerial Conference on Ending TB which took place in Moscow in November 2017.
The revamped Civil Society Task Force on TB was launched on 12 December 2018. The Task Force will focus on policy development with strong civil society engagement, catalyzing collaboration between civil society organizations, national TB programmes and WHO at all levels, helping boost, implement and monitor multisectoral action and advocacy for increased domestic funding. The first in-person meeting of the CSTF took place on 7-8 March 2019. Watch this video to know what the revamped task force is putting at the core of their work to #ENDTB.