The United States has a long history of social mobilization efforts in support of tuberculosis control. Social mobilization provides for the enlistment and coordination of efforts by myriad groups and individuals. Advocacy to influence policy makers and education of patients, health care providers, and the general public are critical activities.
An ad hoc World Health Organization committee identified the lack of political will on the part of national governments as a fundamental constraint to developing and sustaining effective tuberculosis control programs. Social mobilization is necessary to build and sustain political will in the United States and can lead to similar efforts internationally.
Recommendation 7.1 To build public support and sustain public interest and commitment to the elimination of tuberculosis, the committee recommends that CDC significantly increase resources for activities to secure and sustain public understanding and support for tuberculosis elimination efforts at the national, state, and local levels, including programs to increase knowledge among targeted groups of the general public.
Recommendation 7.2 To increase the effectiveness of mobilization efforts the committee recommends that the National Coalition for the Elimination of Tuberculosis continue to provide leadership and oversight and that CDC continue to work in collaboration with the coalition to secure the support and participation of nontraditional public health partners, ensure the development of state and local coalitions, and evaluate public understanding and support for tuberculosis elimination efforts with the assistance of public opinion research experts.
Recommendation 7.3 To assess the impacts of these recommendations and to measure progress toward accomplishing the elimination of tuberculosis, the committee recommends that, 3 years after the publication of this report and periodically thereafter, the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services conduct an evaluation of the actions taken in response to the recommendations in this report.