Luis Figo says “pick up the ball and run with me to stop TB”

RESULTS helps launch global TB awareness campaign with football legend Luis Figo

In the run-up to World TB Day on March 24, RESULTS worked with the World Health Organisation and the Stop TB Partnership (of which RESULTS is a member) to launch the first global tuberculosis awareness campaign “I Am Stopping TB”, with football legend Luis Figo in London.

Figo, the newly appointed Stop TB ambassador, and Dr Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Stop TB launched the campaign on 17 th March at the Hackney Free and Parochial C of E Secondary School, London.

Figo took penalty shoot-outs with school children and held interviews with the media. The campaign aims to raise awareness of tuberculosis among the general public, opinion leaders, policymakers, and the scientific community. For more information visit www.stoptb.org/figo

The campaign launch fell on the same day as the release of the WHO’s annual TB surveillance report Global Tuberculosis Control 2008. At the House of Commons, Dr. Katherine Floyd from WHO presented the findings of the report at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis, attended by members of civil society organisations, health practitioners, and chaired by Nick Herbert MP.

The report finds that worldwide efforts to confront tuberculosis are making progress, but too slowly, and highlights two aspects of the epidemic that threaten to further slow progress; multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the combination of TB and HIV. The regions of Europe and Africa have shown disappointing progress and detection rates of TB in India and China have also slowed down. Dr. Jorge Sampaio said “…this is a restless battle. We still need to do much more and much better.”

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