We have been campaigning on the issue of TB among Southern Africa's goldminers for the past 18 months, advocating for a strong regional response supported by international actors like the UK and the World Bank. In that time we have seen some amazing progress, with real political will being committed by the heads of the state in the region, the UK announcing new funding for a project to tackle the issue and the World Bank undertaking economic analysis of the issue.
In March this year committed parties signed the Swaziland Statement, outlining renewed finance and political will to tackle the issue.The statement was signed by regional and international governments, big multilateral agencies like the Global Fund and the World Bank, and NGOs.Conspicuous by their absence were the mining companies themselves. Despite being the group with possibly the greatest capacity to influence the course of the TB and HIV epidemics, they have so far been slow to respond. This month we'll be calling on the largest gold miner in the region to step up, take action and lead the regional response from the private sector.