Union PhotoIn 2017, three TBEC members from Romania had a chance to attend the Union World Conference on Lung Health in Guadalajara, Mexico: Cristina Enache, Advocacy officer from Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation and Catalina Constantin and Stefan Radut from the Association for Supporting MDR-TB Patients (ASPTMR). During the conference, Catalina had an opportunity to present a poster about a successful project carried out by the ASPTMR and LHL International Tuberculosis Foundation in Romania, with particular focus on peer-to-peer support.

During the conference, Stefan Radut spoke about the importance of continuous international support to the countries in transition process, ranging from international donor support to the national funding of TB control and treatment programmes. He highlighted the fact that in Romania doctors, patients and NGOs are afraid of transition because they are not sure there will be an actual transition. They are afraid that national governments will not keep their promise and transition will mean the end of the early diagnosis, and the end of correct, complete and continuous treatment. He invited international donors, such as the Global Fund, to only stop financing TB programmes when national governments have taken over the activities. For example, in case of transition process from the Global Fund support to national funding with regards to HIV control and treatment programme in Romania, all Global Fund supported activities were de facto discontinued for two years.

With regards to TB transition process, he underlined the importance for the Global Fund to keep some financial support for CSO “watchdogs” in order to ensure the country fulfills its commitments and obligations: “And still, in the transition stage, we want to know what will happen after transition process has ended? Will donors leave it all to the fate? What will be, will be? Or will donors make sure that the changes they made in terms of supporting patients through diagnostics and treatment will remain and continue in the future?”

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