DSCF0902A national TB coalition was established last week in Macedonia, the first of this kind in Southeastern Europe. The coalition aims to increase collaboration between civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the field of TB ​​prevention and control. Working as an informal platform, it will help the preparation of a comprehensive plan for financial sustainability of TB and HIV service by contributing to define priorities in the provision of TB services and ensuring integration and coordination of activities offered by CSOs.

The initiative was promoted by the Center for Medicine, Ecology and Research (MERC), which is active in the fields of TB prevention, education, advocacy and research in Macedonia, and has found broad support from all over the country. As a member of the TB Europe Coalition, MERC was inspired by the results that CSOs collaboration has triggered at regional level and has thus facilitated the launch of a similar platform at country level.

DSCF0901The first meeting of the coalition gathered several CSOs working on TB in the country and was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), the Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, the Macedonian Red Cross and the World Health Organisation. Some members of the Secretariat of the TB Europe Coalition also attended the meeting and expressed their support to this important initiative for the fight against TB in Macedonia.

With the launch of a national TB coalition, which follows the recent establishment of a country HIV coalition, Macedonia has put the basis for ensuring sustainability of TB and HIV services in view of the transition from Global Fund funding in 2016.