Aeras Makes an Impact on World TB Day

World TB Day always means a burst of activities at Aeras. We want to make the most out of the special attention that this global health observance can bring. As such, Aeras carefully targets our activities and works with our partners to make the biggest impact we can in the areas that are most helpful to our mission.

Aeras has a global mission to end TB by developing more effective TB vaccines , and our advocacy efforts represented our global reach. From articles and blogs in the media, to a big push on social media, to emails to our supporters, to events with public officials, Aeras did our best to stress the need for increased funding for TB R&D.  Here are some of our activities this year:

Students get involved with Aeras Asia’s T-shirt campaign

Social Media

  • Our Facebook page and Twitter account was very active, posting our many activities outlined below, our new animated video and our TB Survivors Speak video series (“The Urgent Need for TB Vaccines,”  and “Derrek,” and helping promote our stakeholders activities), reaching more than 7,000 people.
  • In the U.S., Aeras launched a petition to urge Congress to fully fund the National Action Plan Combatting Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis. We were thrilled to get more than 10,000 signatures on the petition, which we presented to Congress on World TB Day.
  • The Care2 network’s Daily Action outreach featured Aeras’s animated video. At last report, nearly 2,000 people engaged!
  • In Asia, Aeras’s 46 postings to our Weibo account attracted nearly 22,500 views within 24 hours. Aeras Asia also earned more than three million views by promoting World TB Day hashtags, (#TB Day, #World TB Day, and #2016 World TB Day).
  • Aeras Asia held a special social media campaign by distributing a specially designed T-shirt for World TB Day. The T-shirts were distributed worldwide and worn by partners, advocates, and friends on Asia’s social media channels, including students at Lanzhou University, Tsinghua University, Shanghai School of Public Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Beijing and CNBG
  • The Chinese language version of Aeras’s new animated video launched on World TB Day and received more than 37,500 views in the first 24 hours. Aeras Asia also promoted their existing videos, including “Hope,” and “Protect Us,” alongside the animated video. This grew the viewership of “Hope” to more than 17,000 and “Protect Us” to nearly 24,500.

News Media

Aeras featured in the Huffington Post

US

  • The Huffington Post featured a series of blogs by global health experts, including Aeras’s Dara Erck.
  • The Washington Post included Aeras’s recent video featuring several U.S. TB survivors in its article about TB in the U.S.
  • The News-Medical website posted an article about Aeras’s new short animated video raising awareness about the need for increased funding for TB R&D.
  • The Global Health Technologies Coalition posted a blog by Aeras’s Dara Erck about World TB Day and the need for new tools to end the TB epidemic. The blog also featured our animated video.
  • The Hill featured a blog by former Rep. J. Phillip Gingrey. Aeras worked with him on this story about how TB affected his family. In the article, Rep. Gingrey calls for increased funding for TB R&D

South Africa

  • Frontshop Pharmacy Magazine (South Africa), 22 February 2016, “New TB Vaccines Needed”:  http://www.frontshop.co.za/new-tb-vaccines-needed/
  • Dereck Tait’s Op Ed was published in the Cape Times, 17 March, “More Political Commitment Needed to Create a World Where TB is Eliminated.”  (Not available online)
  • Sibusiso Hlatjwako was quoted in an article in the Africa Independent published 26 February in 15 African countries: www.africanindy.com/features/tb-in-need-of-a-newer-vaccine-1627713
  • Aeras’s videos, including TB Unmasked and our new animated video were shown on three South African TV stations, including the Good Life Network, Cape TV, and SABC.

Europe

  • ONE Germany featured a blog by Dara Erck about World TB Day and the need for new vaccines, featuring Aeras’s new animated video. The blog was sent to more than 100,000 followers that include government officials, public health experts, and stakeholder groups in Germany.
  • The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of the three most read daily newspapers in Germany and the most read German newspaper abroad, featured a joint Op Ed, “We urgently need a new vaccine,” authored by Aeras’s Lew Schrager, together with German researcher Stefan Kaufmann.

Meetings with Public Officials

A TB researcher and a TB survivor meet with Congressman David Price (D-NC)

  • Aeras partnered with other U.S. based stakeholder organizations to bring 13 TB survivors and advocates to Washington, DC, for more than 30 meetings with their congressional representatives and staff. This is the first time the TB community worked together for a coordinated advocacy event. We saw great results, including hearing from two Members of Congress who pledged to join the TB Elimination Caucus.  In addition to Aeras, the event was sponsored by the American Thoracic Society, the National TB Controller’s Association, RESULTS, Stop TB USA, and TB Alliance. The event also included a Congressional Briefing for Hill staff.
  • Aeras also partnered with the U.K.’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis to host a dinner briefing for Members of Parliament about the need for new tools to fight the TB epidemic. Aeras CEO Jacqueline Shea was a featured speaker alongside Dr. Susan Elden from DFID.

Scientific Presence

  • Aeras CEO Jacqueline Shea chaired a session focusing on correlates of immunity at the World TB Day 2016 Scientific Symposium of the University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Office Events

Aeras Africa at their World TB Day Open House

  • TB survivor Zee Pinkerton and his mother, Tess, came to Aeras HQ to share their experiences fighting TB and as TB advocates, including their participation in this year’s visits to their representatives on Capitol Hill.
  • Aeras Africa held an open house to share information on TB. Attending organizations included the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), a national public entity that serves as the key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation chasm between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and private sector, and commercialization.
  • Aeras Asia staff attended the 11th 3.34 TB Forum held in Changsha, Hunan, China.