At TB Alert we see advocacy and our programmes as 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.
We are active advocates, seeking to influence policy-makers and decision-makers in the UK, across Europe, through our field programmes in Africa and India, and in international policy.
While our fieldwork helps people and communities in their day-to-day lives, our advocacy is aimed at ensuring the policies and resources are in place to achieve the same outcomes on a wider scale: to prevent TB making people ill, to provide the care everyone affected by TB needs and to control the spread of the infection.
There are three parts to our advocacy work:
- 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.
- 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.
- We develop the role of communities and people personally affected by TB. The best advocates for action on TB are people 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.