Remarks by Acting Mission Director Patrick Wesner, Signing of the Pledge of Support to the Accelerated Response to Meet the UN High Level Commitment to End TB in the Philippines

Friday, August 16, 2019

[As Prepared]

[Greetings]

This Coordinating Committee highlights the reality that a multi-sectoral approach is the only way that TB can be eliminated. As such, this forum is the perfect venue for USAID, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the World Health Organization to sign a Pledge of Support with the Department of Health as a demonstration of our shared commitment and shared responsibility to meet these important goals.

Through this Pledge of Support, we uphold and join the DOH’s ‘business-not-as-usual’ approach to eliminating TB in the Philippines. This Pledge also recognizes the capability and commitment of the Philippines to develop its own solutions to improving health. A great example of this commitment is the government’s plan to transition procurement of all second line TB drugs by 2022. USAID stands by you in achieving this commitment.

Over the past decade, the United States government has provided 4.15 billion pesos, or $80 million, of financial and technical assistance to support the Philippines in its goal to eradicate TB by 2035 — a testament to the American people’s commitment to the country and the region as a friend, partner and ally.

Over the past five years, USAID and other development partners have assisted the DOH to find missing TB cases, expand new diagnostic systems, and successfully treat one million Filipinos with TB. Through our partnership, the Philippines is also one of the few countries in the world that has introduced new, shorter anti-TB medicines and regimens.

Today, USAID is reaffirming our commitment to partner with the Philippines to accelerate, scale up and sustain the TB response. USAID’s assistance consists of a comprehensive approach designed to enhance health systems and expand international best practices for patient-centered TB care and treatment.

We commend the Government of the Philippines for elevating TB elimination as one of the nation’s top priorities. We would also like to thank Secretary Duque and the Department of Health for their leadership on TB. We encourage the DOH to take advantage of the recent passage of the Universal Health Care law as an approach that can help ALL citizens have access to the full continuum of health services, including tuberculosis detection, care and treatment.

I would like to close by urging all of us here today and the organizations we represent to work together in this business not-as-usual approach to cure every Filipino with TB and stop the epidemic in this country. Together, through partnership and action, we can meet the Philippines’ commitments to detecting, treating and curing more than 2 million people with TB by 2022.

Issuing Country 

Last updated: September 10, 2019

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