Committing to End TB in Children, Adolescents and Families

Henriette Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO, holding the Roadmap poster

On the eve of the 73rd UN General Assembly, UNICEF, WHO and the Stop TB Partnership hosted a side-event to show commitment and accelerate action towards ending TB in children, adolescents and families. Co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the Danish Ministry of Health, the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, TB Alliance, Louder Than TB, Treatment Action Group, Unitaid, the Global Fund, USAID, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, JHPIEGO, The Union, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and Every Woman Every Child, the event aimed to show commitment and accelerate action towards ending TB in children, adolescents and families. Leaders and people affected by TB discussed the importance of targeted commitments for children and adolescents. During the event the new Roadmap towards ending TB in children and adolescents was launched.

The event was opened by Stefan Peterson (Chief of Health Section, UNICEF Head Quarters), Tereza Kasaeva (Director Global TB Programme, WHO) and Lucica Ditiu (Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership). They highlighted the current global epidemiology of TB in children and adolescents, progress made since the publication of the first childhood TB Roadmap and the remaining gaps around case detection, prevention and integration of services aimed at children and adolescents.

The first panel, moderated by Stefan Peterson, put the spotlight on TB in children and adolescents, , with contributions from Eric Goosby (UN Special Envoy for Tuberculosis), Junya Nakano (Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations) and Farhana Amanullah (Chair, Child and Adolescent TB Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership).

Kristine East spoke about the experiences with TB in her family, which affected her young son Jackson and several other family members in the United States. She spoke about the delays in diagnosis, and the family’s experiences with the stigma attached to TB.

The updated Roadmap towards ending TB in children and adolescents was launched by Tereza Kasaeva and all present people affected by TB, including representatives from TB PROOF, the Jackson family and Jeff Acaba, TB survivor from the Philippines. The Roadmap presents an important moment to consolidate and advance advocacy, commitment, resource mobilization and joint efforts by all stakeholders to address the burden of TB among children and adolescents. It recommends ten key actions to improve TB services and save tens of thousands of children and adolescent lives from TB, including among those infected with both TB and HIV.

During the second panel, moderated by TB survivor Jeff Acaba, Ministers of Health and representatives from donor and partner organizations explained their commitments to ending TB in children, adolescents and families. Panellists included Isaac Adewole (Minister of Health, Nigeria), Ellen Trane Nørby (Minister of Health, Denmark), Janet Ginnard (Team Lead, Strategy, Unitaid), Irene Koek (Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID), Osamu Kunii (Head of Strategy, Investment and Impact, The Global Fund), Kitty van Weezenbeek (Executive Director, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation) and José Luis Castro (Executive Director, The Union).

The official part of the event was closed by Tereza Kasaeva.

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