According to WHO, 75 ministers have agreed to take urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030. The announcement came at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response.
It brought together delegates from 114 countries in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation opened the Conference, together with Amina J Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“Today marks a critical landmark in the fight to end TB,” said Dr Tedros. “It signals a long overdue global commitment to stop the death and suffering caused by this ancient killer.”
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The Moscow Declaration to End TB is a promise to increase multisectoral action as well as track progress, and build accountability. It will also inform the first UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018, which will seek further commitments from heads of state.
Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37%. However, according to WHO, progress in many countries has stalled, global targets are off-track, and persistent gaps remain in TB care and prevention.
As a result, TB still kills more people than any other infectious disease. There are major problems associated with antimicrobial resistance, and it is the leading killer of people with HIV.
Ministers promised to minimize the risk and spread of drug resistance and do more to engage people and communities affected by, and at risk of, TB.
Photo courtesy: WHO