HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ ATS Commemorates World TB Day
ATS Commemorates World TB Day

This week, the ATS joined with partners in the Tuberculosis Roundtable, which the ATS co-chairs with Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the TB survivors group “We Are TB,” to hold a series of virtual events commemorating World TB Day to educate members of Congress about tuberculosis. The events included a series of congressional briefings focusing on TB elimination and on the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with TB and TB programs in the U.S. and around the world.

Survivors of TB spoke of the stigma associated with TB and the long and arduous treatment regimens. Aakriti Pandita, MD, discussed her experience of surviving both TB and COVID-19. The briefings were held in conjunction with the U.S. House of Representatives TB Elimination Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Briefing speakers included:

  • Julie Higashi, MD, PhD, director of the Los Angeles County TB Control Program & president of the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association
  • Kenneth Castro, MD, professor of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and former director of CDC’s DTBE
  • Tereza Kasaeva, MD, director of the World Health Organization’s Global TB Program
  • Philip A. LoBue, MD, director of CDC’s Division of TB Elimination (DTBE)
  • Cheri Vincent, MSPH, Team Leader of U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), TB program
  • Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD, associate director of the McGill University International TB Center
  • TB survivors Aakriti Pandita, MD, Tenzin Khunor and Tina Shah, PharmD

ATS Washington, DC office staff participated in the 6 annual TB Survivors “Virtual Capitol Hill Day” in which 20 TB survivors from around the country engaged with their congressional delegations urging support for increased CDC, USAID and NIH domestic and global TB program and research and development funding. The ATS released a joint statement with the Federation of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) calling on world leaders to act on commitments made at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018 and the Sustainable Development Goals to end TB.

Last Reviewed: March 2021