In the next two weeks, RESULTS UK’s attention will be focused on Europe and the role it can play in tackling tuberculosis (TB) both within its borders and internationally.
On Thursday October 15th, a symposium is taking place at the World Health Summit which will follow up the 2007 Berlin Declaration on Tuberculosis. In particular, attention will be given to the dual challenge of addressing TB and HIV in the World Health Organisation’s European region.
RESULTS and other European civil society partners will call for greater awareness among decision makers; more reliable and country-wide surveillance data; and increased human and financial resources in order to sufficiently address the epidemic. NGOs will also call for greater engagement of local communities and people affected by the diseases in the response to TB and HIV.
It will be argued that better collaboration is needed at the policy and programme level to address TB-HIV co-infection. TB is the main cause of illness and mortality of people living with HIV in the European Region yet few countries address co-infection in a comprehensive manner.
“In 2006, more than 430,000 new cases of TB were reported in the European Region however Europe has some of the lowest case detection rates in the world meaning that the problem could be even worse. Europe also has the highest levels of drug-resistant TB in the world so urgent action is needed.”
“As in other parts of the world, it is the poorest people who are most vulnerable to diseases like TB. We have therefore taken a number of actions over the past few years to encourage the European Parliament and European Governments to put TB higher on the agenda. Two years ago, health ministers from around Europe met to commit to making TB a political priority. At the World Health Summit this year, we will assess how much progress has been made and what further actions are needed.”
Next week, RESULTS will be at the EU Development Days in Stockholm to help raise the profile of TB among EU decision-makers. Together with Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Global Health Advocates, the ACTION Project will be co-hosting a symposium on TB research.