The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis has held its ‘inaugural election of officers’ and its first AGM following the general election. At the meeting in the House of Commons, the Group elected Andrew George MP (Liberal Democrat for St Ives) as Chair of the Group. The APPG also elected 4 vice-Chairs of the Group – Virendra Sharma, the Labour MP for Ealing Southall; Mark Lancaster, the Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North; Annette Brooke, the Liberal Democrat MP for mid-Dorset and north Poole; and Baroness Masham of Ilton a crossbench peer and long-standing champion of health issues. This team of officers bring a strong commitment to eradicating TB, as well as wider issues affecting international development and health.
Following the election of officers, the Group received an update on the fight against tuberculosis both in the UK and internationally from Professor Anthony Harries, Senior Advisor to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and Surinder Tamne, Senior Specialist Nurse at the Health Protection Agency. The updates set the scene for the challenges around tuberculosis control and provided suggestions for the future work of the Group.
The election of officers means that the Group can now move forward on some of the pressing issues facing TB this year. Globally, the Group is planning to work on helping to ensure the UK commits to adequate replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, as well as supporting efforts for better drugs and diagnostic tools especially in addressing drug-resistant strains of TB.
On the UK side of the APPG’s work, the Group will continue to push for better commissioning of TB services, particularly ensuring the establishment of the pan-London Commissioning Unit. The future funding of the Mobile X-Ray Unit is also an issue the APPG will continue to work on.
Beyond these specific campaigns, the APPG will also work on broader TB themes such as HIV-TB co-infection, the rise of drug resistant TB, and the social and economic aspects of this disease.