Tuberculosis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:31 pm on 7th June 2018.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 1:31 pm, 7th June 2018

My understanding is that they already do. That is a good example of how we already—although we need to do more—deploy the resources that are available to us. Indeed, the commitment that we make as the second biggest donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria—£1.2 billion in the last replenishment—has been made possible because of the increase in aid spending and the target that has been set.

At last, this disease is commanding greater political attention. It has got on to the G7 and G20 agenda, partly because of the lobbying that is being done by the Global TB Caucus, which I co-chair with South Africa’s Health Minister, and now numbers 2,500 parliamentarians in 130 countries. In November, there was a WHO ministerial summit in Moscow. In February, Prime Minister Modi of India announced a TB strategy.

Above all, there is a reason to be optimistic because, at the United Nations on 26 September, there will be, for the first time ever, a high-level meeting on tuberculosis that it is intended that Heads of Government and Heads of State will attend, where a new declaration will be launched, with a commitment by the world’s leaders to act. That has to address the current funding gap whereby we are $6 billion a year short of the funding needed properly to eliminate TB by the SDG deadline in 15 years’ time. It also has to introduce greater accountability so that Governments are locked into proper targets to ensure that they really do reduce TB. In addition, there needs to be a dramatic increase in research and development to develop the new tools that I mentioned. All this requires leadership.