India Working Group for Health Advocacy (IWG) launched a postcard campaign targeting the General Assemble Lok Sabha elections to engage with political parties and candidates to make ‘health’ a prominent agenda in their manifestos. Across India, more than 500 postcards were mailed to candidates contesting in the elections. The key messages included,
- Invest in HIV, TB and Malaria programmes and increase health budget from 1.5 % to 2.5% of GDP
- Invest in vulnerable communities affected by these three epidemics.
- Make India champion “Health for All” – Abhi Nahi Toh Kabhi Nahi
- Amplify the voices of the community to increase the opportunities for local resource mobilizing to complement the public health system.
On 23 May 2019, the Election Commission of India declared the results of the elections and to further advocate on the demands, IWG will be carrying out a second round of the postcard campaign targeting the elected parliamentarians. IWG will present them with the India Investment Case which highlights the need to increase domestic resources for HIV, TB and Malaria responses locally. IWG will also be conducting a sensitisation workshop with parliamentarians, in collaboration with Global Fund Advocates Network Asia Pacific (GFAN AP) and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tubercuosis and Malaria (Global Fund), in the coming months. IWG will continue to strengthen its advocacy efforts for The Global Fund 6th replenishment before the Pledging Conference, scheduled in France in October 2019, and beyond to ensure countries invest on HIV, TB, Malaria programmes on an urgent basis before it is too late.
Increased commitment towards HIV, TB and Malaria responses is essential since it directly comes under Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3. Over the last decade, India has responded to these three diseases and has now committed to eliminating HIV, TB, and Malaria by 2030. Interms of HIV, India has made significant progress as 81% of people now know their HIV status and 71% are on ARV (antiretroviral) treatment. Still, a lot needs to be done to eliminate these three diseases as 88,000 new HIV incidences were reported last year. Likewise, 1.3 million cases of malaria and 2.7 million cases of active TB were reported last year in India. Access to quality TB diagnostics and treatment along with findng the missing million in India must be a priority.
On 25th September, Honorable Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi, at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York, strongly affirmed in his statement that India is committed to fulfilling the objective of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030, which includes the SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing.
India Working Group For Health Advocacy (IWG)
The India Working Group for Health Advocacy (IWG) with representatives from HIV, TB and Malaria CSOs and communities has been formed with support from the Global Fund Advocates Network Asia- Pacific (GFAN AP) and The Global Fund to unite civil society and community voices in increasing disease response and build resilient and sustainable health systems with the support from domestic funding, as well. We believe that the involvement of the communities that are most vulnerable to and affected by the diseases is imperative. A holistic approach to eradicating the three diseases from the world will not be possible without involving those who are vital components of the larger health systems in place.