Addressing TB through regional partnerships

Tuberculosis poses an intolerable burden of ill health across the nations of the Asia-Pacific, with nearly five million women, men and children falling ill in our region every year, despite our ability to cure it.

Next week there is an unprecedented opportunity to access key regional advocates, politicians, experts and former tuberculosis patients as they gather in Sydney to consider ways to reduce the burden of TB, and how regional partnerships can help address this intractable disease.

At the Asia Pacific Forum of the Global TB Caucus, on 31 August and 1 September 2015, parliamentarians from Australia, the UK, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, PNG and New Zealand, will consider how best to build regional support for addressing TB.

The meeting is being held alongside the Asia Pacific TB Union Conference http://www.aprunion2015.com, where leading researchers and clinicians in TB and lung disease will showcase up-to-date information about TB in the Asia Pacific, and the opportunities for regional collaboration.

The The Asia Pacific Forum of the Global TB Caucus, is being hosted by Warren Entsch, Federal Member for Leichardt, Queensland and organised by RESULTS International Australia.

“TB is an unacceptable driver of mortality across the Asia-Pacific, claiming 600,000 lives every year, “ said Maree Nutt, Chief Executive Officer of RESULTS International Australia

“Multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), called Ebola with wings, takes two years to treat and is spreading due to inadequate treatment. Without cooperative and decisive action, the disease could claim the lives of 40 million more people across the region in the next 35 years.”

Filipino TB survivor and disability advocate, Eloisa ‘Louie’ Zepeda, will attend the meeting. At 25, Louie’s life was devastated by MDR-TB meningitis when she was an up and coming architect in Manila. While was eventually cured of the disease, the treatment has left her blind.

“The voices and experiences of patients who battle the disease are too often overlooked.” Ms Nutt said. “Without first eliminating the stigma and marginalisation around the disease we cannot eliminate the disease itself,”

The Asia Pacific TB Parliamentary Caucus will include addresses by:

Parliamentarians and advocates attending the event, and available for comment include:

Australian Federal MPs

  • The Hon. Warren Entsch MP, northern Queensland
  • Senator Lisa Singh, Tasmania
  • Dr Andrew Southcott MP, and a medical doctor, South Australia
  • The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MP – Sydney

 International MPs

  • The Rt Hon Nick Herbert, British MP, from Arundal and South Downs (male)
  • Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, Indian MP from Orissa (male)
  • Dr Phirith Kimsour – Cambodian MP from Banteay Meanchey (male)
  • Nguyen Van Tien, Vietnamese MP, and a medical doctor (male)
  • Angelina Tan, Filipino MP, from Quezon, and a medical doctor (female)
  • Okky Asokawati Indonesia MP, from Jakarta (female)
  • Mr Aide Ganasi, PNG MP, from South Fly region (male)
  • Ms Louisa Wall, MP New Zealand, (female)

Advocates

  • Maree Nutt CEO RESULTS Australia
  • Louie Zepeda, Philippines, Former TB patient and disability advocate
  • Blessina Kumar, India, Chair of the Global Coalition of TB Activists


RESULTS International (Australia)
is a movement of passionate, committed everyday people. Together we use our voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. We advise and make requests of policy makers, guiding them towards decisions that improve access to health, education and economic opportunity to those who need it most.   RESULTS is an active member of the Australian Council for International Development and the Campaign for Australian Aid. We work with international RESULTS counterparts and is a partner of ACTION, a global health advocacy partnership.
TB in the Asia Pacific Region

  • Indonesia: TB cases and MDR-TB: 680,000 cases and 68,000 deaths from TB in 2013. Estimated 6,800 cases of MDR-TB in 2013.
  • Philippines: TB cases and MDR-TB: 430,000 cases of TB and 27,000 deaths from TB in 2013. Estimated 8,500 cases of MDR-TB in 2013.
  • Vietnam: TB cases and MDR-TB: 190,000 cases and 19,000 deaths from TB in 2013. Estimated 5,100 MDR-TB cases in 2013.
  • Cambodia: TB prevalence, and MDR TB: 110,000 cases and 10,600 deaths from TB in 2013.   Estimated 510 MDR-TB cases in 2013.
  • Papua New Guinea: TB cases and MDR-TB: 32,000 TB cases and 2,800 deaths from TB in 2013. Estimated 1,100 MDR-TB cases in 2013.

ENDS

Media enquires: Camilla Ryberg, RESULTS International (Australia) | 0435 182 567, camilla.ryberg@results.org.au
Mandy Gyles | 0408 332 374, mandy@mandygylesandco.com.au