Home Health Second Deputy Speaker launches reorganisation of TB Caucus

Second Deputy Speaker launches reorganisation of TB Caucus

World Tb Day H

Mr. Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Friday, launched the reorganisation of Parliamentary TB Caucus, as part of efforts to combat Tuberculosis (TB) in the country.

The reorganisation of the Parliamentary TB Caucus is by the Parliament of Ghana in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership Ghana and other Civil Society organizations (CSOs).

The Parliamentary TB Caucus is expected to champion the affairs of TB on the floor of Parliament and to advocate for increased resource allocation to support the fight against TB in Ghana.

Tuberculosis is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs, and it is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Mr. Asiamah said the inauguration of the TB Caucus in Parliament would raise the bar in securing the much needed political commitment to support the campaign to end TB in Ghana.

“I believe the Committee has the capacity to ensure that this happens in the next Budget of 2024,” he stated.

“I pledge my own commitment to play a part in supporting the Caucus.”

He said the strategic inclusion of the Health Committee in the TB Caucus of Parliament would surely assist put the fight against TB at a higher political level and commit the country to achieving the various targets they had to attain.

He charged the Leadership of the Committee to ensure that the President attends this year’s United Nations High Level Meeting on TB, and that civil society, TB Caucus and TB Programme were represented in the Ghanaian Delegation to the Meeting in September.

He noted that after the meeting in New York, they would indeed need all hands on deck to become accountable to themselves, by ensuring that they convert declaration to commitment at country level to overcome the TB disease.

He said, he still believed that the Caucus Members could take the lead individually and work collectively with CSOs partners to help fight the deadly disease.

Mr Asiamah said he was aware of the challenges of co-financing deficiencies with global fund, which could cut funding for the health sector if nothing was done and the impending possible shortages of health commodities for control of TB and HIV especially.

“I hope, however, that with our collective effort and the reorganisation of the TB Caucus, we should overcome all obstacles and the theme for this year’s TB Day Celebration “Yes, we can end TB,” will be achieved.”

Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, said the Committee was ready to champion the fight against TB in Ghana and that they would work towards Ghana’s participation in the UN High Level Meeting on TB.

He said the Committee would also encourage political parties to include TB agenda through their manifestoes.

Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, National Programme Manager for Tuberculosis Control, said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) an estimated 45,000 people had TB and 15,700 lost their lives to the disease.

He said this means that each day 122 people in Ghana might fall ill of the disease, which meant that TB remains a public health concern.

Mr. Watara Yahaya, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Communication Response for TB, called for political will on the part of the Government towards combating TB.

Mr. Ernest Ortsin, the President of Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET), said they want to see more advocacy in Parliament on ending TB by 2030 in Ghana.

Mr. Jerry Amoah-Larbi, Chief Executive Officer at Ghana National TB Voice Network, urged stakeholders to ensure access to new TB drugs and to promote research to end the TB epidemic in Ghana.

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