Samia haque: 22 November, 2017: 75 ministers agreed to take immediate action to end tuberculosis by 2030. And this declaration came at the WHO Global Ministerial Conference Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response. 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.
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death world wide. In 2016, 10.4 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.7 million people died from this disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low and middle income countries. People who are affected with HIV are at more risk to develop TB. WHO published a report in October 2017 and the findings were quite impressive. 53 million lives were saved through effective diagnosis and treatment (2000-2016) and it reduced the mortality rate of TB by 37%.
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.
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."
Ministers and country delegations, as well as representatives of civil society and international organizations, scientists, and researchers were at the meeting. More than 1000 participants took part in the two-day conference which resulted in collective commitment to ramp up action on four fronts:
1. Move rapidly to achieve universal health coverage by strengthening health systems and improving access to people-centered TB prevention and care, ensuring no one is left behind.
2. Mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through increased domestic and international investments to close gaps in implementation and research.
3. Advance research and development of new tools to diagnose, treat, and prevent TB.
4. Build accountability through a framework to track and review progress on ending TB, including multisectoral approaches.
Ministers also 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.The Russian Federation, host of the first Ministerial Conference to End TB, welcomed the Moscow Declaration. “Tuberculosis is a complex, multi-sectoral problem that requires a systemic and highly coordinated response to address the conditions which drive the disease,” said Professor Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health,Russian Federation.