The Caucus was launched on Thursday 2nd August 2018 by a collaboration between Afro Global Alliance, Aurum Ghana and Ghana TB Voice Network.
It was launched by the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu.
Chair of the occasion was Hon. Emmanuel David Ombugadu, Co-Chair of the West Africa Parliamentary TB Caucus and Member of the Parliament of Nigeria.
In attendance were WHO Country Representative, Dr Owen Kaluwa; Country Director of UNIAIDS, Mrs Trenton-Mbonde; and representatives of several CSOs in Ghana.
The Ghana TB Parliamentary Caucus is Chaired by Honourable Kwabena Twum-Nuamah Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the world's leading infectious killer. Last year, 10.4 million people fell ill with the disease and 1.7 million died from it.
Since 2000, over 30 million people have died from TB. Yet, these deaths are not inevitable. TB can be treated and cured. We do not accept that millions of people are dying when we can do something about it.
Many people in high-income countries think that TB is a disease of the past. It is not. Parts of London have rates equivalent to parts of sub-Saharan Africa. TB is aerially transmitted, it's drug-resistant, and it's found everywhere in the world. It should be a priority, but it's not.
TB occurs in every part of the world. In 2015, the largest number of new TB cases occurred in Asia, with 61% of new cases, followed by Africa, with 26% of new cases. (WHO report) According to the Ghana Health Service, 286 (156) out of 100,000 people in Ghana are infected with TB annually. Data from the National Tuberculosis Program showed that 14,632 people were diagnosed with TB and put on treatment in 2015 but this is way below the national target. Ghana is also recording an increase in the number of patients who developed drug resistance TB.
The Ghana TB Caucus will seek to mitigate some of the challenges the country TB face, make political leadership take action on the disease by giving the disease a voice that the sector Minister and the Heads of State will hear; their own colleagues in parliament.
HISTORY OF THE TB CAUCUS
The Global TB Caucus idea grew out of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis (APPG TB). After many years of successful campaigning to the UK government, APPG TB co-chairman, The Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP, decided to try to create a global parliamentary group.
At a meeting with Mr Jose Luis Castro, Executive Director of The Union, Mr Herbert and Mr Castro discussed the need for greater parliamentary engagement on TB. Mr Castro offered to host and fund a meeting at the World Lung Health Conference.
In October 2014, The Union and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on TB co-organised the first Global TB Summit in over 100 years. It was held in Barcelona, Spain in conjunction with the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health.
This inaugural meeting was co-chaired by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health for South Africa and Chair of the Stop TB Partnership, and Nick Herbert, MP and co-chair of the UK APPG on TB; and the day-long session led to the foundation of a Global TB Caucus. The aim of the Caucus, a globe-spanning network of parliamentarians, is to bridge geographical and political divides to build the necessary political will to fight the disease.
In addition, the parliamentarians launched the Barcelona Declaration, a powerful call to action for political leadership to secure an end to the tuberculosis epidemic within a generation. Since then, the Declaration has gained increasing support from elected officials across the world with 611 signatories spanning 97 countries by November 2015. The Caucus’s target for the year is to enlist support from 100 countries, including signatories from each of the G20 countries and the 22 high TB-burden countries.
GHANA TB CAUCUS
The Ghana TB Caucus aims to accelerate progress against the country TB epidemic through targeted actions at the national, regional and constituency level. At the national level, we work in partnership across regions and constituencies to influence our citizen’s wrong perception about TB and also planned coordinated messaging and calls for action for increased domestic funding for TB. It is important to work together to ensure that the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB is a success.
TB free Ghana
WHO WE ARE / ABOUT US
The Ghana TB Caucus is a unique national network of political representatives with strong parliamentary support led by the parliamentarians. Led by its members for its members, with the support of a dedicated Secretariat Afro Global Alliance, the members of the Caucus will work collectively and individually to end the TB epidemic.
Members of the Caucus adhere to the principles outlined in the founding document, the Barcelona Declaration and also Ghana National TB Strategic Plan. In particular, they commit:
- To working across geographical and political divides in a non-partisan and inclusive fashion;
- To engaging with civil society and all other stakeholders involved in the fight against the TB epidemic; and
- To confront stigma and social isolation associated with the disease.
Read More at www.afro.who.int