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MSF intervention on Global Strategy and targets on tuberculosis at 67th WHA

Speaker: 
Phumeza Tisile, TB activist, former MSF patient, survivor of XDR-TB
World Health Assembly 67 – Agenda item 12.1, Global strategy and targets for tuberculosis prevention, care and control after 2015
Intervention by Phumeza Tisile, Médecins Sans Frontières International

My name is Phumeza Tisile. I was diagnosed with normal TB in 2010, while all along I had XDR-TB.

The journey to my cure was a matter of unfortunate events, BUT I survived.

Last year with my doctor I wrote the “Test Me, Treat Me” Manifesto. Today I’m delivering the Manifesto to you, World Health Leaders. 

The reason is: I wouldn't wish anyone to go through what I went through with drug-resistant TB.  The drugs alone are a nightmare; becoming deaf because of a drug’s side effects is just life-destroying.

Many of whom I’ve called my friends in hospitals are no longer alive. Either the drugs didn't work, or they simply quit because the side effects from 20 tablets a day for two years is too much.
Change is what I'm hoping for.  Better drugs.  No toxic drugs.

I’m not the only one.  I am here on behalf of people devastated by this disease all over the world.  50,000 people have endorsed our Manifesto.

Ministers, I ask you to act to make the three demands of our DR-TB Manifesto a reality.

One: Everyone must have access to fast and accurate diagnosis, and to treatment not in hospitals but close to their homes.  Everyone with DR-TB deserves timely treatment.

Two: Treatments must be more effective, tolerable, affordable, and be shorter.  New TB drugs are needed now to give people a better chance. People are dying and we cannot afford to wait– we need a better DR-TB regimen now.

And three: Funding must be found to increase DR-TB diagnosis and treatment, and for research into new, affordable treatment regimens and other innovations. 

Together, we can ensure TB is curable. But this requires more than a strategy. It requires action.  I commend you for setting ambitious targets, but I ask you to act now, I ask you for change.
 

Page updated: 19 May 2014
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