By Our Reporter
The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon has called for united global efforts to end the deadly disease of tuberculosis by 2030, as the world recently observed the World Tuberculosis Day.
The UN scribe, in a release issued by the global body, also noted that tuberculosis would claim the lives of 1.5 million people this year (2016) alone.
According to the release, “between 2000 and 2015, tuberculosis (TB) prevention, diagnosis and treatment saved 43 million lives. The TB mortality rate has fallen by nearly half. As such, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reversing TB incidence has been achieved.
“But, the fight against this deadly disease is only half-won,” the UN chief said in an annual message, noting that this year alone, TB will affect over 9.6 million men, women and children, and 1.5 million people will lose their lives.
Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is one of the Agenda’s targets. TB disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable, the socially marginalised and those lacking access to basic services/health services.
“Therefore, progress in ending TB must go hand in hand with other Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) efforts to reduce inequalities, eliminate extreme poverty, ensure social protection, achieve universal health coverage and end HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Ending the epidemic requires actions beyond ministries of health alone, and departments responsible for labour, justice, social welfare, science and technology, internal affairs and migration can all make a difference, Ban said, also stressing the need to engage affected persons and communities, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), researchers and the private sector.
“On this World Tuberculosis Day, I call on leaders across Government, civil society and the private sector to unite to end tuberculosis,” he said.
In its press release, the World Health Organisation (WHO) highlighted that TB ranks alongside HIV/AIDS as the world’s top infectious disease killer, while shining a spotlight on progress made in several countries, including India, South Africa, Russia, Brazil and Vietnam.
Source: All Africa