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Philippines Joins Global Alliance in the Fight Against Tuberculosis

Alliance of Countries in the Fight Against Tuberculosis

In a momentous collaboration to combat tuberculosis (TB) on a global scale, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that the Philippines has launched the Alliance of Countries in the Fight Against Tuberculosis.

This alliance includes countries like Indonesia, Nigeria, and Poland. The inaugural event occurred on February 2 at the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York City, marking a significant milestone in the international effort to eradicate TB.

Acknowledging Achievements and Renewed Commitment

Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo, the permanent representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, expressed profound gratitude to Indonesia for spearheading this pivotal initiative. He underscored the unwavering commitment of the Philippines in the battle against TB. It is a commitment echoed fervently by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Lagdameo took the opportunity to highlight the remarkable achievements of the Philippines, citing the treatment of 2.1 million TB patients from 2017 to 2022. This impressive feat exceeded pre-pandemic performance levels and demonstrated the nation’s resilience and dedication to the cause.

Philippines’ Vision for the Alliance

In outlining the Philippines’ vision for the Alliance, Ambassador Lagdameo emphasised the country’s potential contributions. Examples of these are fostering collaboration, facilitating access to cutting-edge technologies such as the TB vaccine, and sharing innovative strategies for TB management. He stressed the importance of effectively pooling resources, knowledge, and expertise to mount a unified front against TB. At the heart of the Philippines’ approach lies a firm commitment to translating lofty aspirations into tangible actions. This includes the enhancement of healthcare infrastructure and diagnostic capabilities.

Formation and Objectives of the Alliance

The Alliance of Countries in the Fight Against Tuberculosis started in September 2023. Its purpose is to catalyse awareness building, maintain focus, and instigate concrete measures to tackle the TB crisis head-on. Under the dynamic leadership of Indonesia and with co-chairs like the Philippines, the Alliance has rapidly garnered momentum. It has attracted 21 member countries to date. Its members include countries with high TB burdens, like China, Mongolia, Peru, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

A Collective Endeavor Towards TB Elimination

The establishment of this Alliance signifies a commitment to addressing one of the world’s most pressing public health challenges. With a steadfast focus on collaboration, innovation, and actionable strategies, member countries aspire to accelerate progress towards the ambitious goal of TB elimination by 2030. Subsequently, the Philippines is poised to play a pivotal role in this collective endeavour. 

Prioritising TB Elimination

The Alliance reiterates the imperative of addressing TB as a top global health priority. Alarming figures show that 1.5 million people die from TB-related causes annually, with millions more affected. Urgent concerted efforts are necessary to stem the tide of this relentless disease. The Philippines’ steadfast commitment to TB elimination resonates deeply with its broader public health agenda. This champions the principles of accessible and quality healthcare for all its citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location.

Confronting Challenges and Seizing Opportunities

Significant strides in TB prevention and treatment have been made, yet formidable challenges persist. This includes the emergence of drug-resistant TB strains and disparities in healthcare access. Therefore, through the Alliance, member countries are poised to confront these challenges head-on by sharing best practices.. Another approach is also for them to advocate for increased funding and resources and foster robust collaboration among stakeholders. By harnessing the collective expertise and resources of its diverse membership, the Alliance is ready to initiate significant advancements toward the global eradication of tuberculosis.

Charting a Path Forward

The Alliance continues to evolve and expand its reach. As it does, the Philippines remains steadfast in its unwavering commitment to the fight against TB. Consequently, by working collaboratively with fellow member countries and stakeholders, the Philippines seeks to harness its unique strengths and resources to make meaningful contributions to TB prevention, treatment, and elimination. With a shared vision of a TB-free world, the Alliance stands as a beacon of hope in the global fight against this deadly disease.

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