THE AFRICAN TB CAUCUS: HON. MULE’S GREAT EFFORTS
The global TB Caucus was founded by Nick Herbert as a movement of Members of Parliament (MP’s) to aid in the World Health Organization’s initiative to end Tuberculosis (TB) by the year 2030. It was officially launched before the Lung Health Conference in an event that saw Kenya represented by three MP’s and among them, Honorable (Hon) Steven Mule.
It was deliberated that the TB Caucus initiative should be introduced in different regions of the world that is: Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific and America. During the World TB day on 24th March 2016, Kenya hosted a series of African MP’s to establish the African TB Caucus. The official launch of the African TB Caucus was held in Durban South Africa and in attendance were MP’s from African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia, Ethiopia and Ghana.
In the launch, Hon. Steven Mule was elected the chair of the African TB Caucus for his aggressive drive and dedication in the advocacy of TB. Four other co-chairs were also elected to represent the regions of Africa which include: South Africa, East Africa, West Africa and the Francophone region. The African Caucus will see members of parliament pressurize their individual governments to prioritize TB and fund moves to end the TB menace in the world.
The Kenyan caucus is in its third year with approximately 135 parliamentarian members. The TB menace costs the government approximately 1.2 million to treat each multi resistant TB (MDR-TB) and approximately 4 million to treat the XDR-TB patient. In light of this, the government needs to prioritize TB as a leading killer disease in the country. Hon. Steven Mule in an interview said that if the proper attention was given to TB, then a lot of deaths that occur due to TB and TB related illness, would be prevented.
The speaker of the national assembly made an official statement on the TB caucus and the efforts of the then 133 MP’s led by Hon. Stephen Mule who had signed the declaration to help in stopping tuberculosis in the country, African and the world.
Hon. Mule urged Kenyans to ensure that they visit local government health facilities to be freely tested and treated for TB. This will ensure the vision to have a TB-free world by 2030 will be achieved.