Aaron Oxley speaks about his appointment to the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board.

This is a post from RESULTS UK’s Executive Director, Aaron Oxley.

Aaron OxleyMost of you who follow our blog will know that RESULTS cares deeply about Tuberculosis. It’s a curable disease that infects an estimated 8.7 million people each year, and kills 1.45 million of them. Now, 8.7 million new cases might seem like an abstract number because it’s so high, but that’s like everyone in London, the city I live in, falling ill with a deadly infectious disease – every year. And the 1.45 million people who die is like the entire population of my hometown, Auckland, New Zealand, dying – every year. At a personal level, this kind of comparison is nothing but horrifying.

And that’s without hearing the personal stories of those affected by TB through the Here I Am Campaign‘s website. Stories of triumph, sacrifice, and loss abound. There are too many of them. The cost is too high.

That’s why I am humbled to have been appointed to the Stop TB Partnership‘s Coordinating Board. The Stop TB Partnership is the key global organisation that brings us all together in the fight against TB. They help translate the technical work done by the epidemiologists and other key thinkers at the WHO into powerful advocacy messages for decision makers and an otherwise unsuspecting public. They help keep the world focussed on the cost of TB and how inaction – or insufficient action – hurts us all. And they help highlight exactly how we can work together and what we need to do in order to beat TB.

Their job is to bring out the best in us so we can fight this terrible disease together.

The Board seat I hold represents the Developed Country NGO constituency. This is a new seat, and one of the intentions of creating it, alongside four other new seats for Developing Countries, the Private Sector, and two seats for Communities, is to create a focal point for each constituency to make its voice heard at the Board level in guiding the work of the Partnership. My appointment wasn’t so much about me: it was an endorsement that I would be able to gather and represent the views of our constituency in the governance structures of our collective fight against TB.

In the coming days I’ll be working with colleagues and allies to build structures to help the Developed Country NGO constituency engage more deeply and effectively with the Board. Look out for that, and in the meantime if you want to get in touch please email [email protected] and we’ll make sure you’re part of the conversation.

With allies, friends, and partners joining together with one voice we have the most powerful weapon there is to defeat TB. I look forward to continuing and expanding our work.