Westminster Hall Debate on TB Diagnosis and Treatment Worldwide
Mr Dakin opened the debate with a speech detailing the past, present and future of TB, and finished his remarks by celebrating the global efforts of people around the world to combat TB, saying "Their efforts is a call to arms for us and a call for us, as policy makers, to step up to the mark and provide them with the tools and wherewithal to eradicate Tb and place it firmly in the past."
Nick Herbert MP, co-chair of the APPG, took the debate forward detailing the nature of the global epidemic and the critical need for action. He spoke also of the need to support TB REACH, the Stop TB Partnership programme that is dedicated to finding and treating the 3 million people every year who are "missed" by health systems.
Kevin Barron MP continued, outlining the nature, cost and threat of drug-resistant TB, and his own experiences at a TB REACH site in Ethiopia. Mr Barron was followed by Grahame Morris MP who picked up on Peter Hain MP's previous comments about TB in the mining industry and spoke powerfully about the ongoing catastrophe of the TB/HIV epidemic, particularly in South Africa, and the need for higher health and safety standards.
Annette Brooke MP, vice-chair of the APPG, spoke of her own experiences battling TB and how little the drug regimens have changed since her battle with the disease. She also touched on the value for money return of TB interventions, highlighting the High Level Panel Report's statistic that TB returns £30 for every £1 invested in it.
Stephen Mosley MP spoke about his own experiences at a TB REACH site in Zambia and the appalling conditions of the prison that he visited with other MPs. He spoke compellingly of the need for support for programmes like TB REACH, but also of the need for governments to be supported to combat their own epidemic and the changing nature of aid.
Virendra Sharma MP then spoke about the importance of recognising that the TB epidemic also has a major impact across the UK and called for a supported mechanism across UK government departments for coordinating the range of various interventions on TB. Speaking for the Shadow Development Team, Alison McGovern MP touched on the importance of removing user-fees in terms of dealing with the TB epidemic worldwide, she also touched on how investments in TB play into DFID's value for money agenda.
In response to the debate, Alan Duncan congratulated the members for an excellent debate, saying: "If I may say so, it has been one of the best Westminster Hall debates I have been to. The speeches have all been passionate and have each come from a slightly different angle. Together, they form a comprehensive picture of the action that this issue requires." He spoke of the government's current investments in TB and their interest in ensuring that TB REACH Is as effective as possible.