North West Provincial TB Caucus Launched
As part of the build-up to World TB Day, the North West Provincial Legislature launched the North West TB Caucus on 5th March 2021, making North West the first Province to launch the TB Caucus. The launch was held at the North West Provincial Legislature Chambers and it was a hybrid with some members of the Provincial Legislature, Provincial Council on AIDS attending in person and some attending virtually.
On World TB Day 2021, the Deputy President, H.E David Mabuza acknowledged the SA TB Caucus Secretariat’s efforts in supporting the establishment of TB Caucuses in all Provinces and encouraged Provincial Legislators to advocate for resources and policies that are conducing for the implementation of the TB program – prevention, care and treatment and research and development.
“We are pleased with progress made by the South African TB Caucus Secretariat, in their efforts of establishing TB Caucuses in all provinces of the country. The TB Caucus is a non-partisan country structure that forms part of the Global TB Caucus, an international network up of over 2500 parliamentarians from over 150 countries across the globe who work collectively and individually, across geographical divides and by engaging with civil society and other stakeholders towards ending the TB epidemic.
This work is important in enabling legislators to advocate for the financial resources towards the TB response and marshal policy reforms that enable the effective roll-out of TB prevention programmes”.
The call by the Deputy President aligns with national and global calls for more political leadership in the TB response. Goal 6 of the National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB and STI’s 2012 – 2022 -is ‘Promote leadership at all levels and shared accountability for delivering this plan’ and the Moscow Declaration to End TB where Ministers of Health committed to ending TB, which is a political priority defined in the Agenda 2030 and as a contribution to achieving universal health coverage, within national legislative and policy frameworks, and to implementing actions through approaches protecting and promoting equity, ethics, gender equality, and human rights in addressing TB, and based on sound, evidence-based, public health principles. The Health Ministers urged WHO, and called upon other UN organizations and all partners, to provide the support necessary for success.
During the launh, the North West Health MEC, Hon. Madoda Sambatha gave the main addressed and acknowledged the challenges posed by TB in South Africa and the importance of political leadership in the fight against TB. Hon. Sambatha called on Legislators to support initiatives to combat TB and urged Legislators to demonstrate political leadership in the fight against TB.
He also emphasized that the TB response in an apolitical initiative and alluded to the importance of a mutli-sectoral approach to the TB response.
The North West for the Legislature Speaker, Hon. Sussana Dantjie expressed the Legislature’s political commitment to the fight against TB and announced that the Legislature’s Deputy Speaker Hon. Ntsetsao Viola Motsumi will lead the day to day work of the TB Caucus in North West and will be reporting to the office of the Speaker.
North West Speaker of the Legislature Sussana Dantjie signing the TB Declaration