Volunteers go above and beyond for World Tuberculosis (TB) Day despite the pandemic

By: Laura Published: 21/04/2021

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Results Canada volunteers made it clear on World TB Day (March 24, 2021) that they care about ending tuberculosis (TB). They demonstrated their collective voice by taking action to light up a record number of landmarks in red, securing mayor proclamations, and gaining media attention.

The success achieved this year was greater than any other World TB Day activities in pre-pandemic years (refer to WTBD recap infographic below). Compared to 2019, Results volunteers were able to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19 and operate successfully with their virtual set-ups to secure a 457% increase in landmarks lit up in red (39 up from 7).

There was also an increase in volunteers getting published in the media, with over 30 pieces (press releases, LTEs, and op-eds) urging Canada to maintain investment in TB REACH - a program that has saved approximately 1.3 million lives to date by locating people with TB in hard-to-reach communities, ensuring that they can access the care that they need.

Using the momentum created by this awareness, volunteers and staff reached out to Members of Parliament (MPs) with key messaging and strong visuals of Canada wide landmarks being lit up in red. The outreach aimed to give MPs the opportunity to learn about TB, and understand how Canada’s investment in TB impacts those living with the disease in Canada and abroad.

“If we want to eradicate TB by 2030, more efforts need to be turned towards TB elimination and resource development”

- Tina Campbell, Together Against TB

Leading up to World TB Day, Results held a webinar Together against TB in collaboration with Stop TB Canada and Partners in Health Canada. Distinguished speakers shared their experiences with TB and their insights into how we can take meaningful, high-impact action to end TB, especially alongside the challenges posed by COVID-19. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of the webinar on our YouTube.    

Throughout the month of March, Results maintained a strong social media campaign using the hashtags #endTB, #WorldTBDay, and #TheClockIsTicking (StopTB Partnership’s theme for the year). We raised awareness by sharing TB facts along with daily tweets containing photos of the landmarks  that were to be lit up in red. The number of engagements on the tweets exceeded 1,500 which is triple the amount of what we usually see each month!

We thank our Results Canada volunteers who worked incredibly hard to raise awareness for TB. Also thanks to working in collaboration with partner networks like Stop TB Canada and Partners in Health Canada, we made World TB Day 2021 a record-breaking success and demonstrated once again that our collective efforts make an indelible mark. See all the landmarks that got lit in red along with volunteers taking action on World TB Day!

See all the landmarks that got lit in red along with volunteers taking action on World TB Day!

 

Click image to enlarge

World TB Day serves as a reminder of the progress made in the fight to end TB, as well as the tremendous work still to come. While TB in high-income countries dwindles towards elimination targets, the burden of the disease continues to fall on marginalized populations. Even within Canada, TB presents a significant concern amongst Indigenous and newcomer communities. Despite eradication being achievable in many regions, the persistence of TB demonstrates the vast health inequities that continue to exist in our world. 

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