By Vadim Pistrinciuc, Moldovan MP 

In November, I visited Bucharest with the Global TB Caucus to support the efforts of the Romanian Angel Appeal and the Caucus to encourage sustainable parliamentary engagement on the issue of TB in Romania. Over the course of two days I participated in a training event for Romanian civil society by the TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) and met with members of the Romanian Health Committee, who agreed to launching a national caucus.

On the Monday, I was asked to speak about my experience of working with civil society and the tools that parliamentarians can use to best work with civil society. Following the session, the delegates chose a representative to attend the meeting with the Health Committee the following day. The delegate would then be able to apply the theory that had been discussed during the day, into directly working with parliamentarians.

One of the key ways in which the Caucus aims to build a sustainable response to TB is through engaging with national and local civil society partners. The Caucus does not fund partners to work on parliamentary engagement, as this would compromise the idea that national parliamentary engagement should be wholly led by national partners, and as such many partners are not funded for their work with the Caucus. This means that participating in trainings such as the TB Europe Coalition one, is one of the few ways that the Caucus can support the work of and demonstrate the extent to which we value the work our partners do.

On Tuesday the Romanian Health Committee, all of whom were already members of the Global TB Caucus, met with myself, Global TB Caucus staff and Romanian civil society to discuss the TB response in Romania and the practicalities of launching a national TB caucus. During the meeting the parliamentarians present agreed that a national caucus would be an important step in encouraging their parliamentary colleagues to join the fight against TB and provide a platform for further parliamentary engagement.

One of the Caucus’ key messages is that parliamentarians and civil society can work together to change the TB response to suit national needs. This was underscored when the day after meeting of the health committee, the TB Law that Romanian parliamentarians and the Romanian Angel Appeal had been working on for two and half years was formally adopted by parliament. The law, which is concerned with ensuring patients have the best support whilst completing treatment, demonstrates the benefits of collaboration between national civil society and parliamentarians.


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