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Opinion Pieces Recognize World TB Day

Huffington Post: No Time To Lose
Mandeep Dhaliwal, director of UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group at the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support

“…Since the release of the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, UNDP — in collaboration with governments, civil society, [and] other U.N. partners has supported 88 countries to remove human rights and legal barriers to HIV services and increase rights-based programming. UNDP is committed to expanding this work to include a human rights and gender-based approach to TB. With support from the Global Fund, UNDP is working with leading African human rights civil society organizations … to address human rights barriers faced by vulnerable communities in Africa, and increase access to lifesaving HIV and TB services in 10 African countries. … If we want to end TB by 2030, investing in human rights and gender-based approaches to TB that put people living with and affected by TB at the center of the response is critical” (3/23).

New York Times: Paul Farmer: Humans Aren’t Winning the War on TB
Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard University, and chief of the division of global health equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“…[H]umans aren’t winning the war against TB, which last year killed 1.8 million people, regaining its old title as the world’s leading infectious killer of adults. Happy World TB Day. … Only rigorous clinical trials will permit us to conclude that we humans have a better shot of winning the war against tuberculosis in all its varied forms. Such a trial was just announced by Médecins Sans Frontières and Partners In Health. … Although the humans have gained territory with new diagnostics that speed up the glacial pace of identifying mutant strains so that patients might benefit from the new drugs, these rapid tests are based on decades-old discoveries. As with the new drugs, their commercial development was delayed since the potential beneficiaries were too poor to treat. UNITAID supports this new trial as well as the necessary steps to bring its fruits to those previously disregarded. … The last front in the Partners In Health and Médecins Sans Frontières project is a joint operation with another NGO, Interactive Research and Development, ensuring that we remain on the frontlines against the wily bacterium. By finally countering TB’s cunning battle plan with a bold, multipronged approach that embeds science and care delivery and keeps the poorest people in mind, some year soon, World TB Day may be a day for celebration” (3/24).

Huffington Post: Let’s Imagine A TB-Free World
Eric Goosby, U.N. secretary general’s special envoy on tuberculosis

“For the first time since tuberculosis (TB) surfaced centuries ago, we can see the possibility of living in a TB-free world. Unlike other global health diseases, TB is curable. What TB lacks is the political will to provide resources to prevent and treat TB and support for research to find even more effective diagnostic tools. Living in a TB-free world would change the global health landscape. … Doctors and nurses would not have to put their own health on the line every time they treated a patient with TB. Hospitals could provide better care for their patients if they weren’t overwhelmed with managing patients with TB. Health systems could save millions of dollars and countless hours currently invested in screening health care workers. And once TB is contained, human, laboratory, procurement, and distribution resources would be available to treat people with non-communicable diseases. … With an infusion of resources, we can get on a path to create a TB-free world. … On this World TB Day, let’s imagine a world free from TB. Then, let’s make it so” (3/24).

Huffington Post: A pan-African effort is needed to lead the fight against tuberculosis
Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, chief executive officer of the secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)

“…Today, the TB epidemic is particularly prevalent in Africa. But, beyond the huge challenges it poses to health and economic development on the continent, the hot spots found in Africa form pockets of resistance and hotbeds that could jeopardize the global control of tuberculosis and undermine global health. … The World TB Day commemoration on March 24 presents African governments with an opportunity to take stock of actions being taken and galvanize efforts towards ending TB by 2030. … [The U.N. high level meeting on TB in 2018] will allow the international community to define a global strategy that will also be the topic of a WHO global ministerial conference on the fight against TB to be convened in November 2017 in Moscow. … As the main victim of the disease, Africa certainly deserves international support, but it should also aim at proving it can lead the struggle for a world freed from TB” (3/24).

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