The co-chairs of the APPG on Global TB, in partnership with RESULTS UK, RESULTS International Australia and the Global TB Caucus, took the opportunity presented by the UK parliamentary recess to press for global leadership against the world’s deadliest infectious disease: tuberculosis (TB).
Virendra Sharma MP, who is also the Chair of the Indo-British APPG led a delegation of eight MPs and Peers to India organised by the Indian High Commission in London. Mr Sharma used the opportunity to promote cooperation between the UK and India on efforts to end TB, meeting with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and with Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, and discussing the disease.
Earlier this month, Mr Jaitley spoke of plans to eradicate TB in India within a decade. An Indian TB Caucus of parliamentarians will be launching early in March to support these efforts.
Mr Sharma said: “I have had productive discussions with both Mr Modi and Mr Jaitley about the fantastic work that has already been done to tackle TB and I know there is a real desire to make progress on this issue.” He also pressed for India to take an active role in the upcoming G20 conversations and to promote efforts to address TB.
The Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP, who is also co-chair of the Global TB Caucus, pressed for the same issues during his visit to the Australian Parliament in Canberra. Mr Herbert met with The Rt Hon Julie Bishop MP, Australia’s Foreign Minister, to discuss TB in the Asia-Pacific and the importance of investing in the research and development of new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines to fight the disease.
Mr Herbert also met with the Hon Warren Entsch MP, who is the co-chairman of the Asia Pacific TB Caucus and the Australian TB Caucus, to discuss cooperation around the disease, and joined a meeting of the Australian TB Caucus. In addition, he met the Chief Medical Officer and other senior officials about the disease.
“Australia has shown considerable leadership against infectious diseases in the Asia-Pacific region and it was encouraging to see the depth of commitment among Ministers, officials, and parliamentarians to step-up efforts to tackle TB.”
Mr Herbert was also interviewed by radio station, Pacific Beat. The interview can be listened to here: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-15/eradication-of-tb-will-take-200-years-at-present/8274088?pfmredir=sm
You can also read an article on his visit on DevPolicy here. http://devpolicy.org/ending-tb-requires-global-support-20170217/