CONTACT: Natalie Shure, TAG: email@example.com
Washington, D.C., October 27, 2022 – As public health leaders, researchers, and civil society activists acting in solidarity with communities affected by tuberculosis (TB), we are dismayed by the continued global backslide in progress against history’s oldest pandemic. The annual World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Report 2022 released earlier today showed that “the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB… [In 2021, there were] 1.6 million TB deaths, including 187,000 TB deaths among people with HIV. TB is one of the top infectious killers worldwide.” Given the dire news laid out in the WHO report, country governments worldwide, supported by funders and global and national leaders, must move quickly to close TB screening and testing gaps, and implement new, shorter, stronger, safer, evidence-based TB prevention and treatment regimens, as part of a comprehensive package of patient-centered care.
This is the vision of the 1/4/6×24 Campaign, which will be featured at the upcoming USAID-sponsored TB Symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We invite you to join us on Friday, October 28 for a session titled “1/4/6×24 Campaign Call to Action: Kick-Starting Momentum Toward the United Nations High-Level Meeting.” The event will feature speakers from several high-burden countries, including TB survivors and national TB program representatives, and civil society organizations who will outline the 1/4/6×24 Campaign. The event will feature exclusive announcements of key commitments for the Campaign. “These commitments and actions taken to fulfill them will help to ensure that when governments meet in New York next year for the UN High Level Meeting to recommit to the TB response they bring ambition to treat everyone eligible with the best science,” said Dr. Sahu Suvanand, Deputy Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
The 1/4/6×24 Campaign’s central demand seeks to catalyze into meaningful action recent scientific progress enabling safer, shorter cures recommended by the WHO for nearly all forms of TB: one month or once-weekly regimens for TB prevention, four-month regimens for drug-sensitive TB, and six-month regimens for drug-resistant TB – by the end of 2024.
According to 1/4/6×24 Campaign co-founder Mark Harrington, Executive Director of Treatment Action Group, “Our work is motivated by our passion for public health and social justice, and a determination that all are entitled to benefit from the gains of scientific research, which over the past decade has discovered numerous new, shorter, safer curative regimens for all forms of tuberculosis, and which are not yet being rolled out where they’re most needed.” Successfully implementing these treatments will also require closing longstanding research gaps so that no patients get left behind: “Because children, pregnant women, and other ‘vulnerable’ populations are not included in studies, we become paralyzed,” said Dr. Jen Furin, founder of the Sentinel Project on Pediatric Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. “So, when it comes to rolling out innovation, we continue to exclude people with a very perverted notion of protecting them.”
Conceived by advocates in the spirit of the late Partners in Health (PIH) cofounder Dr. Paul Farmer (1959-2022), “the 1/4/6×24 Campaign expands Dr. Farmer’s vision of prioritizing care for the most impoverished and vulnerable, which given the startling numbers in the WHO report must include reinvigorating the fight against TB,” said Patrick Ulysse, Chief Operating Officer of PIH.
Advocates emphasize that achieving the Campaign’s goals will require significant new investments in pro-poor programs providing short-course TB prevention and treatment regimens together with what Farmer called the “Five S’s” needed to deliver effective healthcare: staff, stuff, space, systems, and support. As Pervaiz Tufail, a TB survivor and Director of TBPeople Pakistan reminds us, “Building robust health and social services around the world won’t only allow us to effectively treat and cure TB – it will leave people less vulnerable to it in the first place.”
For more information about attending the National Press Club event virtually or in-person, click here. You can learn more about 1/4/6×24 here. To get in contact with event organizers for potential interviews, please reply to this email or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work is led by the 1/4/6×24 Campaign Coalition, an international network of TB survivors, researchers, clinicians, activists, and civil society professionals who advocate for communities affected by TB. Their institutional affiliations include:
Treatment Action Group (TAG)
Partners In Health (PIH)
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Global Coalition of TB Advocates (GCTA)
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
Global TB Community Advisory Board (TB CAB)
Stop TB Partnership
Survivors Against TB
The Sentinel Project Against Pediatric Drug-Resistant TB
We Are TB
TBPPM Learning Network
Asia Pacific Counsel of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO)
African Coalition on TB (ACT)
TB Europe Coalition (TBEC)
# # #