World TB Day 2010

World TB Day 2010

Message from Mr Ivan Kotzé, President of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association

The Stop TB partnership programme runs from 2006 to 2015. This year is therefore a midpoint and it is appropriate to review progress and to inject partners and participants with enthusiasm that will energise and sustain the activities during the second half of the programme.

It is encouraging to reflect on the successes of the first 5 years and to note the high levels of commitment globally to making an impact on this disease. However it is also salutary to note that even though the relative number of cases and associated morbidity has been reduced the overall number of TB sufferers has increased and the rise in those with infections resistant to first line treatments is a growing problem in a significant number of countries.

My country, South Africa, faces a particularly challenging situation. It is in the group categorized as “high burden”, the majority of whom have associated HIV/AIDS and also has to contend with a significance preponderance of patients with drug resistant infections.

There is clear value in improvements over a period of time but it is good also occasionally to be rather more radical and consider new approaches to our contribution in a specific context. This year’s theme of “Innovation” should stimulate us in two contexts. Firstly to consider what novel approaches we can bring to our practice and secondly to ensure that our present activities reflect the current needs of our clients (patients, carers, the public and/or healthcare colleagues) in the context of the local circumstances in which we operate.

In a world where the global financial crisis now means that everyone has to prepare to work with fewer resources, at least in the short to medium term, ensuring that we make best use of those we have becomes even more crucial. The cycle of reviewing services and activities, planning and implementing change is a valuable tool in this process.

As well as keeping up to date with the activities of the Stop TB Partnership and its associated organisations it would be of benefit to all CPA members active in any aspects of tuberculosis treatment to share experiences that might enhance the outcomes more widely. We would be pleased to hear of your successes and will undertake to promulgate them through the CPA website.

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CPA is a member of the Stop TB Partnership