My message to young and young at heart:
Today, when we celebrate International Youth Day, we would like to recognize the role that young people play in shaping a better future in health and beyond. This year’s theme “Engaging Youth for Global Action” focuses on how proactive engagement, resilience and creativity of young people at the local, national and global levels can drive progress, especially in times of crisis. This is especially true of efforts to combat tuberculosis (TB) – the world’s largest contagious killer.
Significant progress has been made in the past year since the WHO launched its global youth movement to stop TB, called Initiative 1 + 1, followed by adoption Declaration by young people to end tuberculosis for the first time Global Youth Townhall on TB Completion, The 1 + 1 initiative has spread to thousands of young people around the world in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and Vietnam. Social media platforms have been set up as part of the 1 + 1 youth initiative, and social media posts are followed by over 20,000 people, and the number is growing day by day. There have been more than 100 different youth-led activities and TB-stopping events around the world. These include peer education in schools and universities, sensitizing young people, encouraging them to become TB advocates, and supporting TB patients in the community with resources and advice.
One inspiring example of youth action to combat tuberculosis is found in Nepal. The country’s youth have established national and provincial youth networks to enable young people to end tuberculosis through capacity building and ensuring their participation in policy-making and awareness-raising at the community level. Also, in March 2020, the Vietnamese National TB Program launched the National Youth Movement Against TB, which aims to reach 10 million young people and educate all elementary school students with knowledge and good practices in the fight against TB and lung diseases. We urgently need more such inspiring initiatives for young people to stop tuberculosis.
If you are young and looking for an opportunity to contribute to the fight against TB, there is only one message for us. We are always happy to guide you, provide you with the right learning opportunities and a global platform to demonstrate your innovative ideas and creativity.
Please share your ideas, stories and experiences with us and the rest of the world using the hashtags #EndTB and # Youth2EndTB or join our Facebook group Youth2EndTB.
Together we can stop TB and make our world a better place.
Dr. Tereza Kasaeva
Director, WHO Global Program Against TBO
Examples of countries: Youth action to combat tuberculosis
The National Movement for the Elimination of Tuberculosis has been officially launched in Vietnam
On March 20, 2020, on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, the Vietnamese National Lung Hospital held a congress of the Youth Society Against TB and Lung Diseases – Vietnam Lung Association. The Congress has selected 11 young people who will represent young people from the country in the Executive Board of the Association for the period 2020-2022. This was officially launched by the Vietnamese Youth Movement Against Tuberculosis, which is the adoption of the Global Youth Movement Against TB at the national level. The event was almost attended by the Director of the WHO Global Tuberculosis Program, Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, who encouraged the gathered young men to show new vitality in their efforts to stop TB.
The youth movement in Vietnam aims to reach 10 million young people and educate all primary school children with knowledge and good practices in the fight against TB and lung diseases.
National Youth Movement Against Tuberculosis – Nepal (NYMAT – Nepal) is a good example of youth leadership and engagement in the fight against TB. As a youth network, it provides an opportunity for young people to come out on top and join efforts to fight TB. More than 1,000 young TB advocates have already joined the National Movement and that number is growing every day. By supporting the WHO Strategy on the Ultimate Tuberculosis Program and the National TB Program, its goal is to encourage the involvement of young people in comprehensive anti-tuberculosis activities carried out in Nepal. In addition to the adoption of the WHO Declaration on Tuberculosis Cessation and the WHO Youth Initiative 1 + 1, independent TB advocates / activists are working intensively to increase TB awareness and reduce TB stigma by advocating at local municipal levels. to encourage stronger policies to reduce the burden of TB. Recently, youth representatives from NYMAT actively contributed to the development of the upcoming National Strategic Plan by participating in a consultation organized by the National Tuberculosis Center.
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