We need people – people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership
There are three sides to our advocacy work. First, we work to ensure that TB services meet the needs of all patients. We do this by working closely with other TB advocates in civil society, healthcare systems and politics so that people can access TB services whenever and wherever they need them, and those services are properly resourced with staff, equipment and medicine. We also advocate for governments and other funders to support the development of the new vaccines, diagnostic tools and drugs that we urgently need to fight TB. Our partners include the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, Stop TB Partnership, TB Europe Coalition and Action Project.
Second, in our field programmes, we involve local NGOs who work on a daily basis with people at risk of TB. These organisations are best placed to help local communities because they understand their socio-economic challenges and cultural barriers to TB testing, diagnosis and treatment. We build the capacity of such organisations to advocate with governments at local and national levels for the health rights of local people at risk of TB.
Third, we develop the role of communities and people personally affected by TB. The best advocates for action on TB are individuals who have personal experience of the disease. So, both in the UK and in our overseas programmes, we support and promote the development of patient-based associations such as the TB Action Group in the UK and Chichetekelo Outreach Partners in Zambia.
At TB Alert we see advocacy and field programmes are two sides of the same coin. While helping people overcome the barriers that might prevent them seeking treatment for TB, we have to ensure the health services are in place to provide the best possible care for them. Our organisation’s mission brings together these two issues into one statement – to increase access to effective treatment for all.
You might also be interested in: The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB report, Old disease - new threat
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