This week the Stop TB Partnership announced its newly appointed Executive Secretary, Dr. Lucia Ditiu, following the departure of Marcos Espinal in August 2010. A native of Romania, Dr Ditiu is a physician and researcher who has devoted her career to improving the lives of people living in communities heavily burdened by tuberculosis (TB).
Dr. Ditiu comes with over 10 years experience of working for the World Health Organisation (WHO), firstly in the disaster and preparedness unit of the WHO European Regional Office and most recently as the former lead of the TB Reach Initiative , whose goal is to improve access to TB treatment. She has become a vital asset in her work with all the institutions involved in TB care, including ministers of health and justice, and provided unwavering support to civil society and communities working on and affected by TB.
Since it was first established in 2001, the Stop TB Partnership built upon the Stop TB Initiative that was launched by WHO in 1998. Its aim is to realise the goal of eliminating TB as a public health problem and, ultimately, to obtain a world free of TB. It comprises of a network of international organisations, countries, donors from the public and private sectors, governmental and non-governmental organisations and individuals that have expressed an interest in working together to achieve this goal.
As such, the UK Coalition to Stop TB, the UK national partner of the Stop TB Partnership, welcomes the news of the arrival of Dr. Lucica Ditiu in to her new post and looks forward to the coming months and years of working together to combat TB worldwide. With the advent of new diagnostic tools, such as GeneXpert that can detect multi-drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and detect the disease in HIV positive populations, we enter a period in time where we are able to ramp up efforts to beat this life threatening and debilitating disease that continues to threaten the lives of almost 9 million people each year.