See how Results supported an end to tuberculosis this World TB Day

By: Laura Published: 06/04/2022

In the days surrounding World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, March 24, 2022, Results Canada staff, volunteers, and partners worked hard to shine a bright red light on TB. Each year our goal is to build awareness and stand in solidarity with the millions of people affected by TB.

This year, we increased our impact: Canada reaffirmed its commitment to ending TB, volunteers got a record number of monuments lit up in red across Canada, and the media mentioned TB because of our outreach more than we have seen in recent years.

Canada reaffirms its commitment to TB REACH

Results Canada kicked off World TB Day with a gathering in front of the ‘Ottawa’ sign in the ByWard Market in Ottawa (a landmark that was lit up in red). At this event, the Honourable Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan made an announcement on a new investment of CAD$11 million in TB REACH. He made this announcement alongside Executive Directors Lucica Ditiu of Stop TB Partnership and Chris Dendys of Results Canada, and Dr. Suvesh Shresthra, a TB researcher and member of Stop TB Canada. To learn more, you can read our March 24 news release.

 

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Words from the Honourable Harjit Sajjan:

Minister of International Development

“Before the pandemic, infections from tuberculosis were declining. Now, these gains are being reversed and in 2020 alone, 10 million people fell ill with TB. It is a disease we can do something about. It is a disease that can be eliminated. It is why, we have been supporting efforts that have helped detecting and treating the disease successfully. We will continue to actively support initiatives, like through the $11 million of funding to the Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH program, who work tirelessly to find solutions that give hope to millions around the world who are fighting this terrible disease."

We have been advocating for reinvestment in TB REACH for over a year, as we know that the initiative is well-placed to fill the gaps in TB service provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. We celebrated this investment by making a video with partners to thank Honourable Minister Sajjan!

raising awareness in the media

Results’ hard work to build awareness of TB this year allowed us to secure more media mentions than any other year on record. We published two op-eds in The Hill Times: one on the effect of COVID-19 and conflicts on TB co-authored by Executive Director, Chris Dendys and the other on COVID-19 and ending TB by Policy and Advocacy Officer, Leigh Raithby.

We also worked with volunteers who got landmarks lit up to submit press releases to community newspapers. Close to 10 different community media outlets picked up the stories, which featured volunteers who got the monument lit up in red! Here is a selection of those who were featured:

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Garrison Dyck

Group leader, Edmonton (AB)

“Knowing that millions of people worldwide die from a curable disease like tuberculosis (TB) each year fills me with a deep sense of urgency that more needs to be done to stand up for those affected. I am thrilled that Victoria Street Bridge illuminat[ed] in red as a reminder for Canada to reaffirm its commitments to help eliminate this deadly disease.”
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Sarabjeet Kaur

Results Fellowship participant, Brampton (ON)

"There is an immediate need to invest in infectious diseases like tuberculosis as it has claimed countless lives globally due to health inequity. Invest in TB, Save Lives."

volunteers in action

The success of this World TB Day could not have been possible without our volunteer advocates. Canadians across the country came together and demonstrated that they care about ending TB. They got 43 landmarks lit up in red, secured three mayor proclamations, wrote letters to the editor and op-eds (over 10 published), and urged Canada to invest in TB REACH on social media.

see the new tool volunteers used to take action

Results Canada piloted a new education tool using Prezi about TB, the impact of COVID-19 on TB programs in Canada and abroad and call for the resources and policy changes needed to end TB. You will hear from community voices and experts as you go through the Prezi.

Results Canada Fellows did their own media outreach by emailing or tweeting journalists in their area. One fellow, Olivia Shepard, even joined a news broadcast - an amazing accomplishment!

"It’s not every day that you get interviewed by a journalist! I was so grateful for the opportunity to spread the message about World TB Day and why TB is still such a prevalent and important issue. I hope it helps to kick-start the conversation and get people talking; everyone should be aware of this issue and know that we can hold our government accountable for committing to the goal of ending tuberculosis and seeing a world without extreme poverty. It really does start with a conversation.”

Here are just a few more of the volunteers who contributed so much to the success of the day:

  • Lucksini Raveendran for sending the most requests and getting the most landmarks successfully lit in red: Niagara Falls State Park, Regina City Hall, Hamilton City Hall, Kingston City Hall, Lethbridge City Hall, Moncton City Hall
  • Other volunteers made a huge effort by requesting 4 or more landmarks: Linda Elmose, Nathan Au, Ashminder Gill, Zayd Hafiz, Diane Pierrette Nana, and Shirley Wang.
  • Honourable mention: Courtney McFarlane came up with a fun alternative to lighting up landmarks when she saw few landmarks were available in Windsor. She had posters about TB put up in coffee shops and bookstores!

Results staff were impressed by the dedication that volunteers and fellows showed to World TB Day! Not only did you surpass 100 lighting requests sent to landmarks all over Canada, but you kept the momentum going on social media and in newspapers ahead of the day. To our volunteers – your actions made such an impact. Even Honourable Minister Sajjan shared his appreciation!

See our Facebook album of volunteers taking action on World TB Day along with the landmarks that got lit in red!

While we celebrate the success of this World TB Day, we recognize that there is much still to be done in the quest to end TB. Our advocacy is far from over. Results Canada remains committed to generating the political will to end TB at home and abroad.

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