African Parliamentarians pledge to intensify the fight against TB

The curtain closed down on the 3rd African Tuberculosis (TB) Summit on the 6th August 2019 at the National Assembly of Cabo Verde. The Summit was held as part of the joint sitting of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Permanent Committees on Gender and Health currently underway in Praia.

The closing ceremony of this Summit was officiated by Dr. Arlindo Nascimento do Rosario, Minister of Health and Social Security of Cabo Verde. As such, members of the PAP and Global TB Caucus have resolved, as representatives of the African peoples, to play an important role in holding governments to account for the promises that they have made towards ending TB by 2030.

Furthermore, participants were called upon to press for the immediate establishment of national, cross-departmental bodies to monitor the implementation of the commitments made in the Political Declaration from the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB and to make concrete recommendations for steps that can be taken to accelerate progress.

“Parliaments have been challenged to take rapid action to demonstrate their resolve to fully deliver on the commitments of the Heads of States therefore our constituencies are looking to us to act on this,” says Hon. Aurélien-Simplice ZINGAS-KONGBELET, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs.

Among others, the statement of intent resulting from the two-day Summit in Cabo Verde states the following:

We, the undersigned, as political representatives from African region, reaffirm our commitment to the Global TB Caucus’ vision of a united parliamentary response to TB that transcends political and geographical boundaries, and;

  1. Acknowledge the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB as a high watermark for political attention to the global TB epidemic and congratulate all stakeholders who contributed to the meeting;
  1. Declare that the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals to end TB by 2030, signed by all Heads of State, and reaffirmed in the Political Declaration from the UN High-Level Meeting on TB, can only be achieved through collaborative and coordinated action across all nations, with each state taking responsibility for its fair share of global targets;
  1. Affirm that the success of the High-Level Meeting will not be determined by the scale of the commitments made in the Political Declaration, but by whether those commitments are fully delivered and result in meaningful change for people affected by TB around the world;
  1.   Challenge our parliaments to take rapid action to demonstrate their resolve to fully deliver on the commitments of the Heads of States.

And, recognising that we, as representatives of the African peoples, have an important role to play in holding our governments to account for the promises that they have made, hereby commit:

  1. To build sustainable, non-partisan, political initiatives in our national parliaments to drive sustained political pressure on TB, and ensure that such initiatives work in collaboration with civil society and other key stakeholders in the response to TB;
  2. To press for the immediate establishment of national, cross-departmental bodies to monitor the implementation of the commitments made in the Political Declaration from the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB and to make concrete recommendations for steps that can be taken to accelerate progress;
  3. To work through inter-parliamentary platforms at the regional level to press for ongoing Head of State and Government-level meetings on TB in regional intergovernmental platforms to drive an internationally coordinated response to the epidemic;
  4. To take every action necessary in our collective and individual capacities, in partnership with all relevant stakeholders including international organisations, to ensure that Heads of State and Government deliver in full the commitments made in the Political Declaration from the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB and that we, as the Africa community and in each individual member state, achieve our shared objective of ending TB by 2030.
  5. Commit to advocate for increased domestic resources for a fully funded TB response in our individual countries and in cognizant of the African Union member states commitment to increase health financing to 15% of their yearly national budget.
  6. Commit to adopt a harmonized approach to TB response as the African Region to hold each other to account on the delivery and achievements of the UNHLM targets for each country.
  7. Acknowledge the place for Research and Development for accelerated TB response and hence commit to advocate for increased investments and fast tracked and harmonized adoption of new technologies, regimens and guidelines towards achieving the 2030 targets.