Zim’s First Lady signs the ‘Barcelona declaration on TB’

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Sharon Kavhu

BULAWAYO-Zimbabwe’s First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa signed the Barcelona Declaration on Tuberculosis (TB) and the Bulawayo Declaration on HIV and TB on Friday April 27, 2018 to show her leadership commitment to end TB by 2030.

Amai Mnangagwa who was the guest of honour during the event said signing of the declaration is an essence in line with the planned UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on TB to be held in four months-time.

“Signing of the TB and HIV Declarations is critical in light of the planned UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB, to be held in September. The meeting seeks to raise political priority for TB and secure commitment from Heads of States and government for a coordinated global response against TB.  The meeting follows a very successful Ministerial Conference on ending TB held in Moscow in November, 2017, which resulted in High level commitment to accelerate the end TB strategy as expressed in the Moscow Declaration to end TB,” said The First Lady.

“I am therefore, very glad to have been requested to add my own contribution to this process through my participation and pledge to end both diseases,” she said.

At the same event, she handed over 11 Televisions sets donated by the National Aids Council to the Bulawayo City to scale up dissemination of information on HIV, TB, non-communicable diseases and other health conditions affecting people.

In her key note speech, Amai Mnangagwa urged the country to utilise new technologies to enhance the empowerment of the nation in health education, ensuring that correct and appropriate information is spread.

“Health education has played a key part in empowering our people with correct and appropriate information for behaviour change and utilisation of prevention services. We have to sustain that approach and enhance it with the use of technology through which various topics such as HIV prevention, TB awareness, prevention and treatment can be tackled continuously and be reinforced through tried strategies such as dramas, music and poetry,” she said.

The First Lady urged local clinics and committees responsible for production of TV programmes to introduce programmes that encourage men with relevant and appealing message for them to take up the health service offered and support their partners.

The Barcelona Declaration is the founding document of the Global TB Caucus.  According to the caucus, the declaration is open to any political representative in the world to sign and is a demonstration of support and solidarity for efforts to end the TB epidemic.  It is designed to raise the profile of the disease among politicians and is a tool for advocates wishing to engage local decision-makers.

To date, the Declaration has been translated into fifteen languages and signed by over 2,300 political representatives from over 130 countries include Zimbabwe’s First Lady.

 

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