Media Release – Monday June 24, 2019
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt called for the eradication of tuberculosis (TB) in the Asia Pacific region within 10 years at the recent Global Health Security Conference in Sydney.
As he said in his opening remarks at the Global Health Security Conference: “This condition (TB), which is eradicable, which is not as difficult to address as HIV or polio were in their day, is something that on our watch, in our time, it’s our responsibility to deal with.”
TB is the leading infectious disease killer, taking more lives than HIV and malaria combined in 2018 globally. In Australia, it is estimated that one million people have a latent TB infection and are at risk of developing the debilitating condition.
“This is a turning point in the fight against TB in our region. Minister Hunt’s leadership on TB will provide the momentum for Australia to play its part in eliminating this preventable and treatable disease,” says Amelia Christie, CEO of RESULTS Australia.
Clear commitment is needed
“What we need now is a clear commitment to increasing funding to the Global Fund, the central mechanism for combatting TB,” continues Amelia Christie.
The Global Fund partnership is the main financing vehicle for diagnosis and treatment for TB, Malaria and HIV. In 2017, the Global Fund financed treatment for five million people living with TB, including the majority of treatments for some of Australia’s closest neighbours, including Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The Global Fund currently provides 65 per cent of external funding globally to fight TB. This includes US$1.29 billion for the years 2018 – 2020 for TB in the Indo-Pacific region.
What needs to be done
RESULTS Australia calls on the Australian Government to pledge $300m to the Global Fund Replenishment, to eliminate TB and fight HIV and Malaria.
RESULTS Australia believes that the elimination of TB in the Asia Pacific region can be achieved through achieving the following:
1. Australia to increase its annual TB R&D funding target to 0.1% of R&D expenditure overall.
2. The Australian Federal Government to increase its commitment to $300 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria during its replenishment in October 2019.
3. The Australian Federal Government delivering its share of the global targets agreed to in the Political Declaration at the UN High-Level Meeting on TB.
4. The Australian Federal Government establishing a regional program to end TB, together with other country health ministries from the Indo-Pacific region.
For more information and to arrange an interview:
CEO RESULTS Australia
Phone: 0490 391 278
RESULTS (International) Australia is a non-partisan and non-profit organisation that has been working in Australia for over 30 years through a combination of staff-led and grassroots-driven advocacy.
Working with federal parliamentarians and through the media, its advocacy aims to generate public and political will to end poverty particularly focusing on global health issues such as tuberculosis (TB), HIV, malaria, polio, child health and nutrition, as well as education and micro-finance.
RESULTS works with international RESULTS counterparts and is a partner of ACTION, a global health advocacy partnership.