World TB Day 2017: Getting closer to the promise

Alice Sagwidza Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
Swaziland joined the world in commemorating the World TB Day this March 2017. In so doing, many stakeholders from both health and non-health sectors, as well as private and public sector, gathered in different regions, charging forward with renewed energy and commitment towards stopping TB. As Dr Mario Raviglione, Director, Global TB Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) shared in a webinar organised by CNS, this is a critical time where all players need to come to the table.

SDGs should not be the icing on business-as-usual 'cake'

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is convening the 4th session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD 2017) from 29 to 31 March 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand. The APFSD is expected to define a regional roadmap to support member States' implementation of the 2030 Agenda over the next 15 years.

'Finish line' not in sight: Struggle intensifies for sustainable development of all

The governments of over 190 countries promised to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2015. But progress to keep these promises, has been, at best, patchy. Several community leaders from Asia Pacific region who were actively participating in 2017 Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development (CSO Forum of APFSD) in Bangkok, Thailand, feel that business as usual cannot continue if we are truly committed to translate SDGs into development justice for all.

TB treatment and cure: Can faith help?

Dr Richa Sharma, CNS Correspondent, India
“We have tried to do everything but there has been no improvement. My husband had to take so many medicines for so many months, and yet there was no relief. We finally gave up and went to a faith healer in our village who did some animal sacrifices and put some ash on his forehead. We also went to this famous temple and got pooja done. But even that did not work, says Saroj, a 55 year old woman whose husband has been sick on and off for several years.

Indian network of HIV experts honour Dr Gallo for his contribution to AIDS virus discovery

Because Nobel prize had forgotten to acknowledge one of the three top scientists who should have shared the credit for AIDS virus discovery, the honour conferred upon Dr Robert Gallo by AIDS Society of India (ASI), India's national network of HIV medical experts, becomes so much more important. In 1984, research groups led by Dr Gallo, Dr Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and Dr Jay Levy at the University of California, San Francisco, all identified a retrovirus as the cause of AIDS. The AIDS Society of India (ASI) conferred upon the prestigious ASI Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr Robert Charles Gallo in recognition of his pioneering role in advancing pathbreaking HIV science over the decades.

Faith alone cannot cure TB

Alice Sagwidza Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
“All my life, I prayed to God and he answered my prayers. I prayed for a job and I got it, I prayed for a husband and he gave me. When we were struggling to have children, I prayed and fasted for two years and now I have three healthy children……even now I will pray that God cures us.” These were the words of Zanele Dlamini (Name changed), a recently widowed 36 year old female from Sidvokodvo, some 60 km from the capital Mbabane in Swaziland. Zanele was diagnosed with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in September 2016, she is also HIV positive. Her husband Muzi (Name changed) succumbed to the same ailments in mid-January this year.

[Podcast] Multi-sectoral response is crucial to accelerate progress to #endTB by 2030

[Watch YouTube recording] [Click here to listen or download this audio podcast] This is the webinar recording in lead up to 2017 World TB Day. Governments of more than 190 countries globally have committed to end TB by 2030 by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at UN General Assembly in September 2015. This commitment to end TB is in line with the WHO End TB Strategy which was adopted by World Health Assembly in 2014. [Click here to listen or download this audio podcast]

[Webinar] World TB Day 2017: Unite to #endTB

Using faith to not just fight TB but many other diseases as well

Josephine Chinele, CNS Correspondent, Malawi
Motivational talks could move people and change their behaviour. But the use of their faith authority will move them more. This is what the experts have resorted to in order to fight against TB across the world. Experts who made presentations at a webinar hosted by Citizen News Service (CNS) indicate that faith leaders can play a crucial role in fighting against diseases such as TB.

Healers abuse people’s faith

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
(First published in Manica Post)
Acceptance of any condition is the first step to recovery. Denial is fatal. Acceptance is a process, and not an event. So acceptance of any condition is of importance to getting well. Not everyone has to disclose publicly, but disclosing to a loved one, or a buddy, helps. Everyone needs a medic buddy to help adhere to treatment. My spouse is my medic buddy who reminds me to take my medication.

Using faith to fight TB

Francis Okoye, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
In a webinar organized by CNS, titled ‘Does faith help in fighting TB?’, experts from various sectors presented their views. One of the experts, Jody Boffa, a community based researcher and epidemiologist at Desmond Tutu TB centre, Stellenbosh University, Cape Town, South Africa, said that as a strong Christian and with her engagement with communities, she realized the  important role faith plays in TB care and control.

Faith leaders can help fight TB

Locadia Mavhudzi, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
TB has been identified as a major threat to global health security. In this regard it is imperative to take an inclusive approach towards its prevention, treatment, care and support. Research has proved that one's faith really help in fighting against the disease. The Seventh Day Adventist Church wellness programme in the Midlands province in Zimbabwe has gone a long way in promoting care and control of HIV and TB. The high burden of TB and HIV in mining townships across the province has prompted the church to provide a safe haven for care and support amongst the infected population.

Ending TB is going to be hard but "hard is not impossible"

[Watch video interview] [Listen or download the podcast] [हिंदी] Wisdom of Nelson Mandela, "It always seems impossible until it's done", has only deepened in relevance and context when we review the fight against tuberculosis (TB), a curable disease which continues to be one of the top ten causes of death globally.

Does faith help in fighting TB?

Dr P S Sarma, CNS Correspondent, India
Human beings live in the world of hope–hope for a better tomorrow. This hope depends upon, and is generated from faith- faith in oneself, faith in the fellow beings and, above all, faith in God. Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work for a worthy goal, we exercise faith.All over the world, efforts are being made to combat TB— an infectious disease that kills 2 persons every 3 minutes.

[Call to register] Webinar in lead up to World TB Day 2017: Unite to #endTB

[Watch webinar recording] [Listen or download podcast]
Welcome to this special webinar in lead up to 2017 World TB Day. Governments of more than 190 countries globally have committed to end TB by 2030 by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at UN General Assembly in September 2015. This commitment to end TB is in line with the WHO End TB Strategy which was adopted by World Health Assembly in 2014.

India to involve faith leaders in TB programme

Aarti Dhar, CNS Correspondent, India
(First published in
Inspired by the role of faith-based leaders in eliminating polio, the Indian government is now all set to involve religious institutions in reaching out to people for TB services. Beginning this month, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union) will start training the trainers from the Muslim community who, along with volunteers, will help in identifying cases and disseminating information about the disease.

[International Women's Day special] Emotional support is crucial for TB patients

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
(To mark International Women's Day 2017, CNS presents an exclusive story of courage and inspirtion, based upon an interview with TB survivor and activist Prabha Mahesh) 
"I can never forget that day. It is etched in my mind forever. I came back from the laboratory, totally devastated and in tears. I had never ever thought even in the wildest of my dreams that a person like me could contract TB. But that was what my reports confirmed.

[Podcast] Having fought TB for over 30 years, Dr KK Chopra shares insights on ending TB by 2030

[Listen or download the audio podcast] [Watch the video interview] Having invested over 30 years in fight against TB, Dr KK Chopra who is the present Director of New Delhi TB Centre in India's capital, shares key insights on how to accelerate the battle to #endTB by 2030. Reflecting on the past decades, he shares key game-changing pivots that propelled the fight against TB and some things that could have done better. [Listen or download the audio podcast] [Watch the video interview]

[Focus] No excuse not to accelerate the pace to #endTB by 2030