Stop TB Partnership

News Stories 2006

World TB Day 2007: "TB Anywhere is TB Everywhere"

14 December 2006 -- Mark your calendars - World TB Day is 100 days away! On 24 March 2007, people from all over the globe will be taking part in the World TB Day campaign - a day of social action and awareness. The theme for World TB Day 2007 is "TB anywhere is TB everywhere." The message is one of urgency and shared responsibility. Through unified action on all levels, we can create a healthier globe, a better future, and work towards a world free of tuberculosis.

Upcoming Workshops on GFATM Round 6 Grant Implementation

12 December 2006 -- Countries who received approval for GFATM grants in Round 6 have been invited to attend a Workshop on GFATM Grant Implementation in Geneva, organized by the WHO in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership. The objective of this workshop is to develop the National TB Programme staff and TB experts' skills that are required to implement round 6 Global Fund TB grants. The workshop content focuses on the grant life cycle and main actors (part 1), preparation of the grant agreement signature (part 2); implementing the grant (part 3), including a focus on Advocacy, Communications and Social Mobilization (ACSM) activities. These steps are critical to ensure successful implementation of TB grants, efficient disbursement of funds of phase 1 and smooth preparation of phase 2 for the 20 sub-components of the Stop TB Strategy.

16 - 19 Jan: American / European / South East Asian / Western Pacific Region 30 Jan - 2 Feb: African / Eastern Mediterranean Region The 35 countries who received approval for TB programmes in Round 6 are:

  • African Region: Benin, Côte D'Ivoire, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritania, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda
  • American Region: Guatemala
  • Eastern Mediterranean Region: Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Syria
  • European Region: Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Tajikistan, Ukraine
  • South East Asia Region: Bhutan, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka
  • Western Pacific Region: Papua New Guinea, Viet Nam
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tuberculosis Epidemiology

5 December 2006 -- McGill University is Canada's leading research university, ranked as one of the top 25 universities in the world. McGill has a large, active, diverse research group on tuberculosis, encompassing several disciplines, including epidemiology, clinical research, public health, genomics, diagnostics, molecular epi, health economics, modeling, geography, sociology and international health. Members of the research group have a strong track record for innovative biomedical, clinical, epidemiologic and social research. The TB research group is funded by a number of sources e.g., Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), and other public and private agencies.

Statement from UN Special Envoy to Stop TB on World AIDS Day 2006

30 November 2006 -- World AIDS Day (1 December) is an occasion to acknowledge the incredible progress made towards ensuring access to life-saving anti-retroviral therapy, ARTs. But this promise of life of ARTs will be undermined if we do not ensure that a curable disease like TB is addressed effectively.
TB is the leading cause of death amongst people living with HIV/AIDS. The lethal combination of the two diseases makes it imperative that AIDS and TB programmes in affected countries work in close collaboration.
The recent identification of extensively drug resistant TB, XDR TB, and its devastating impact amongst those with HIV demonstrates the deadly synergy between these two diseases. It demands massive new investment to strengthen the current systems for TB treatment and hasten the development of new TB tools and the urgent implementation of national TB-HIV policies.
We need to start working on tomorrow's solutions today. It's time to do it right, to do it now and to do it together.
President Jorge Sampaio
UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TBJakarta, Indonesia.

15th CALL FOR PROPOSALS

30 November 2006 -- of the Small Grants Scheme for Operational Research in Tropical and other Communicable Diseases for 2007 in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

The attached Call for Proposals includes TB as one of the diseases for which small operational research grants are available through this scheme run by Tropical Disease Research Special Programme and WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office. The application should be prepared jointly in collaboration with the control programmes of the Ministry of Health, and be presented to the Ministry of Health. This collaboration will ensure scientific soundness and co-authorship of the proposal, and the most efficient introduction of the research findings into policy and practice of the relevant communicable disease control programmes. The proposals will be reviewed and selected competitively based on scientific merit, the relevance of the topic and the potential for strengthening research capacities. Please note that the deadline for submission of the pre-proposals is 14 February 2007, at the latest. You can also download the call and proposal form from the small grants scheme web site (www.emro.who.int/tdr).

Kofi Annan: Stop TB Partnership - a Model of Consensus-building, Innovation, and Collaboration

20 November 2006 -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan commended WHO and the Stop TB Partnership at the inauguration of the new UNAIDS/WHO building which will be the new home of the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat. "WHO has been in the vanguard in strengthening the health sector response," said Mr Annan. "It has led the dramatic scale-up of TB control, and new responses to the huge threats of HIV-associated and drug-resistant TB. It hosts the Stop TB Partnership, which has become a model of consensus-building, innovation and collaboration".

Acting WHO Director-General Dr Anders Nordstrom: "The Stop TB team is regarded as one of the most effective partnerships today. You have an up-hill task but with your commitment you will succeed." Attending the session were the WHO Director-General Elect, Dr Margaret Chan, and 150 guests, including heads of UN agencies, diplomatic missions, staff and the senior management of the two organizations.

View the Acting Director-General's speech [.pdf]

Request for Applications for a Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network

14 November 2006 -- The US National Institutes of Health is announcing a call for applications for the support of a Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network, consisting of individual Centers, that will work to build expertise in the development of integrated systems that address unmet clinical needs in point-of-care testing through the creation of multidisciplinary partnerships. Each Center within the network will perform or facilitate five different Core functions: (1) conducting in-house clinical testing of prototype point-of-care devices; (2) collaborating with physical scientists, biochemical scientists, computational scientists, and engineers on exploratory technology development projects; (3) completing clinical needs assessments in areas anticipated to advance the field of point-of-care testing and disseminating this information to the technology development community; (4) providing training to technology developers on clinical issues related to the development of point-of-care devices; and (5) providing an adequate administrative structure to ensure that the large, complex Center achieves its goals. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) anticipates commitment of up to $6,000,000 in FY2007 for this program. The NIBIB anticipates that up to 3 awards will be made.

Stop TB Partnership at the 37th Union World Conference on Lung Health

6 November 2006 -- The Stop TB Partnership played a key role at the 37th Union World Conference on Lung Health, organized by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), and held in Paris on 31 October - 4 November. The first meeting of the Core Group of Advocacy, Communications and Social Mobilization (ACSM), on Global Advocacy for Resource Mobilization, marked the birth of the core group. Five of the seven Stop TB Partnership Working Groups (WG) held their annual meetings: DOTS Expansion WG; Stop TB WG on MDR-TB; WG on New TB Diagnostics; WG on New TB Drugs; and TB/HIV WG. Additionally, Childhood TB, a subgroup of the DOTS Expansion WG, gave an update on policy recommendations. The Poverty sub-group of the DOTS Expansion WG identified Liverpool University as the interim Secretariat and is to elect a new Chair. There was a meeting of select ACSM country level sub group members to discuss the ACSM handbook outline. The GDF and Management Sciences for Health held a workshop entitled "Building capacity in pharmaceutical management for TB, MDR-TB and TB/HIV". The Union conference was also an opportunity for the Task Force on Re-Tooling to finalize its guidelines on "New Technologies for TB control: A Guide for their Adoption, Introduction , and Implementation" in preparation for the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board meeting to be held later this month. Other Partnership Task Forces also met at the Union gathering, including the Community Task Force, the Task Force on National Stop TB Partnerships and the Media and Events Task Force.

The Union is a long standing organization since over 100 years, and home for organizations, professionals, and activists. The Union was one of the first Stop TB partners and remains a close and important ally in the Partnership's work.

TB prioritized at XVI Ibero-American Heads of State Summit

5 November 2006 -- The Secretary General of the Ibero-American Community received a mandate on TB following the XVI Ibero-American Heads of State Summit, held on 3-5 November in Montevideo, Uruguay: "We share the concerns raised during the VIII Ibero-American Conference of Ministers of Health regarding the increased number of victims that a curable disease such as tuberculosis continues to plague the world with. There are an estimated five thousand deaths attributed to the disease and it has become the principal cause of death for HIV patients. In the context of this concern, we propose that public health be a priority and a key topic to be discussed during the next summit. We propose contemplating a Global Ibero-American plan of action designed to halt this disease and in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for 2015. We call on the Secretary General of the Ibero-American Community to propose initiatives to catalyse actions within different constituencies such as the industrial sector and the labour market among others, with the aim of contributing to the fight against this burden that affects our society."

First ever Stop TB Partnership and Kochon Foundation prize given to TB control pioneers

1 November 2006 -- Today, leading TB/HIV activist Mr Winstone Zulu from Zambia, and Indian TB Programme Manager Dr L.S. Chauhan, were awarded the first ever Kochon Prize to mark their outstanding contributions to improved TB control.By awarding this annual prize the Stop TB Partnership and the Kochon Foundation recognize and encourage those at the forefront of the fight to Stop TB. This prestigious international health prize was awarded by Kochon Foundation Chairman Mr Doo-Hyun Kim and Stop TB Partnership Executive Secretary Dr Marcos Espinal, at the 37th Union World Conference on Lung Health, Palais des Congrès, Paris.

The Stop TB Partnership salutes the Kochon Foundation for rewarding TB control efforts.

Special Envoy announces World TB Day theme

1 November 2006 -- "TB anywhere is TB everywhere - this is the chosen theme for World TB Day 2007", declared UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, at the inauguration of the 37th Union World Conference on Lung Health, in Paris. President Sampaio spoke about global responsibilities in investing in the health workforce [.pdf], addressing one of the greatest challenges for TB control and for the Millennium Development Goals in general.

View President's address

World TB Day, falling on 24 March each year, builds public awareness that TB remains an epidemic in much of the world, and leads to the deaths of 1.7 million people each year, mostly in the developing world. World TB Day 2007 will mark the 125th anniversary of Robert Koch's discovery of the TB bacillus, and events around the world will commemorate this day.

Special Envoy pursues his fight against TB

24 October 2006 -- UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, Jorge Sampaio, is actively pursuing his efforts to place TB higher on international political and development agendas and to encourage countries to fund and implement the Global Plan to Stop TB (2006 -- -2015). On 12 October, Dr Sampaio met with Mr Barroso, President of the EU Commission, to encourage EU leadership through support of the Global Plan. The Special Envoy then gave an opening address at the European CEO Summit on Business and AIDS, promoting improved collaboration between TB and HIV/AIDS programmes, and opportunities for private sector involvement in the TB fight. The Special Envoy has also been in discussions with Enrique Iglesias, Secretary General of the Ibero-American Community, to increase TB control activities and funding in Latin American countries.

Global Task Force outlines measures to combat XDR-TB

17 October 2006 -- The WHO Global Task Force on XDR-TB has outlined a series of measures for countries to effectively combat extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). The Task Force will also help to mobilize teams that can respond to requests for technical assistance from countries, and be deployed at short notice to XDR-TB risk areas.

Red Cross Red Crescent, leading health agencies form alliance against TB in Europe

10 October 2006 -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is establishing a new alliance with the World Health Organization (WHO), Médecins du Monde and 20 other leading European agencies and NGOs to forge a more effective response to the tuberculosis epidemic in the European region. The Stop TB Partnership for Europe is being launched amid growing alarm about high levels of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the Baltic States, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the more recent emergence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). Senior officials warn that the continued spread of such virulent strains poses a serious threat to TB treatment and control in the region, and challenge the European Union to assume a larger role in tackling the problem.

CLINTON AND SAMPAIO DISCUSS FUTURE TB COLLABORATION

6 October 2006 -- Former USA president, Bill Clinton and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, Jorge Sampaio have discussed developing plans to work together on political advocacy around TB/HIV. Dr Jorge Sampaio, former president of Portugal, discussed the issue with his USA counterpart at the Global Clinton Initiative Annual Meeting, held last month in New York.

President Sampaio thanked President Clinton for his commitment to date on raising awareness around HIV and TB, and stressed the need for even stronger collaboration in the future to ensure TB is placed high on international agendas, and better collaboration between TB and HIV programmes in countries.

Bilateral meetings were also held with Dr Tachi Yamada, President of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Mr Georges Soros, Chairman of the Open Society Institute. Global leadership and civil society involvement in TB advocacy were among the key points raised.

STOP TB PARTNERSHIP WELCOMES DONATION FROM LILLY

5 October 2006 -- Stop TB Partnership member, Eli Lilly and Company, has announced it is to help strengthen multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) control through a US $680,000 donation to the Stop TB Partnership and WHO Stop TB.

It brings to more than US $1.5 million the total amount given to WHO Stop TB by Lilly* through a series of grants dating back to 2003, aimed at addressing the growing problem of MDR-TB.

New Chairperson of the TB/HIV Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership

4 October 2006 -- The Core Group of the TB/HIV Working Group has elected Dr Diane Havlir as its new chairperson to serve for the next three years. The outgoing Chair, Dr Gijs Elzinga announced his intention in March 2006 -- to stand down by November 2006 -- after serving the Working Group as chairperson since its establishment in 2001.More Information [.pdf]

How to combat extensively drug-resistant TB

2 October 2006 -- The Global Task Force on extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) will outline the immediate measures needed to combat the disease at a meeting hosted by WHO in Geneva on October 9-10. XDR-TB is a serious threat to TB control. The Task Force will consider data from all regions where XDR-TB patients have been identified and in some cases successfully treated. International experts attending the Task Force will work to ensure that countries can strengthen TB control and implement extra actions required to urgently respond to XDR-TB.

SOUTH AFRICAN HEALTH MINISTER REQUESTS URGENT MEETING WITH WHO TO ADDRESS XDR-TB

28 September 2006 -- It has been reported in the media that South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has requested an urgent meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB). According to the reports, the Health Minister, said on Tuesday (September 26, 2006) that she had been in touch with the WHO and Ministers in the southern African region to discuss the outbreak of the disease. She is quoted as saying: "I have requested an urgent meeting with experts from the WHO so that we can get assistance to develop a national as well as a regional strategy to deal with XDR-TB". The minister also told reporters in Pretoria that she has asked TB researchers and clinicians to keep her briefed on the extent of the problem and what was being done to contain it.

To the Private Sector Constituencies of the RBM and Stop TB Partnerships

26 September 2006 -- We are pleased to announce two opportunities for interested parties to contribute to shaping global public-private partnerships for malaria and tuberculosis. Nominations are currently being sought for private sector representatives to the boards of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) and the Stop TB (STB) partnerships.

This is an important opportunity for the private sector to strengthen its response to malaria and tuberculosis, provide strategic guidance and ensure increased support at the country level through engagement with the broader partnerships.

WHO Global Task Force on XDR-TB

25 September 2006 -- WHO is intensifying the response on XDR-TB (extensive drug resistant) and plans a Global Task Force to recommend measures to prevent and contain XDR-TB.

To read the XDR-TB September WHO Update [.pdf]

The Stop TB Partnership aims to support WHO and other technical partners as they respond to requests for support from countries.At this stage, specific assistance is requested from partners:

  • Personnel - Names, accompanied by a CV and indicating availability, to enable us to establish a roster of suitably qualified individuals. Personnel should have experience in drug resistance, specialist TB laboratory work or TB drug supply and (preferably) experience in Africa. Any volunteers should be available on short notice for missions to countries to provide technical assistance, if required.
  • Financial Resources - to support field missions, surveys etc and to provide technical and practical assistance to countries, as required.

Offers of support may be directed to XDRTBResponse@who.int
The International Standards for TB Care [.pdf]

UN Special Envoy to Stop TB

19 September 2006 -- UN Special Envoy to Stop TB, Jorge Sampaio, praised the commitment being shown today by African leaders engaged in the fight against TB during an opening address at WHO's 56th Africa Regional Committee in Ethiopia on 28 August. Dr Sampaio, the former President of Portugal, who was appointed Special Envoy in May this year, was invited as a keynote speaker at the personal request of WHO Regional Director, Dr Luis Sambo. At the Regional Committee meeting last year, African Health Ministers declared TB a regional emergency. Referring to this historic declaration, Dr Sampaio urged Health Ministers to develop without delay the national emergency plans required to combat the TB epidemic. "The challenge to all concerned with the TB epidemic - patients and their families and communities, governments and authorities of TB-burdened countries, health organizations and donors - is to articulate and embrace the commitments and extra actions that will be required to successfully control TB."

Prof Anne Fanning, Co-Founder of Stop TB Canada, Receives Canada's Highest Civilian Honour

18 September 2006 -- Prof Anne Fanning, Past President of The Union, has received the highest civilian honor awarded by the government of Canada. An Emeritus professor at the University of Alberta, Prof Fanning was made a Member of the Order of Canada for her work in health care. In her addition to teaching, she has practiced for more than 25 years in the clinical care of TB patients; served as the TB controller for the province of Alberta for a decade; led the Global Health Initiative to provide medical students and faculty at her university with increased awareness about global health issues; and co-founded Stop TB Canada. A longtime Union member, she served as President from 2000 to 2003 and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. She also remains active with the North America Region.

Seven point emergency action plan* to combat XDR-TB issued by global health agencies

7 September 2006 -- Seven point emergency action plan to combat XDR-TB has been developed by global health agencies following a two day Expert Consultation in Johannesburg. The focus of the plan will be: conduct rapid surveys of XDR-TB; Enhance laboratory capacity; Improve technical capacity of clinical and public health managers to effectively respond to XDR-TB outbreaks; Implement infection control precautions; Increase research support for anti-TB drug development; Increase research support for rapid diagnostic test development; and Promote universal access to ARVs under joint TB/HIV activities. The plan is being further refined to ensure it can respond effectively and urgently to the newly identified threat of XDR-TB, (extensive or extremely drug resistant TB).

Reaching the targets for TB control: call for papers

1 September 2006 -- Tuberculosis (TB) has been a major killer disease for several thousand years. Despite intensive efforts to combat the disease over the past twenty years, TB remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in many settings, particularly in the world’s poorest countries. TB is primarily a disease of poverty, but is a significant public health problem also in wealthier countries where pockets of poverty and marginalized population groups exist. It is estimated that around 1.7 million people die each year from TB; and in 2004 figures indicate that approximately 8.9 million people developed the disease.

In 1991, the World Health Assembly recognized TB to be a major neglected health problem and called for much greater international efforts to control it, setting two global targets — a TB case detection rate of 70% and a treatment success of 85% among detected cases. These targets were originally planned to be achieved by 2000. However, the World Health Assembly acknowledged that more time was needed and deferred the achievement date to 2005. Since 1995, data on progress towards achieving the TB targets have been collected and evaluated, and in May 2007 WHO will present a final report on this to the World Health Assembly. To mark this milestone, the Bulletin is planning to publish a special theme issue in May 2007 entitled "Reaching the targets for TB control: lessons learned."

Read more [.pdf]

ETHIOPIA: Africa bears the brunt of global TB infections

30 August 2006 -- ADDIS ABABA, 30 August (IRIN) - Twenty-five percent of global tuberculosis cases occur in Africa although the continent's population comprises only 11 percent of the world's total, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis (TB), Jorge Sampaio, said on Wednesday, urging aid donors to increase their support for projects to combat the disease.

"Eliminating TB as a public health problem in Africa is a endless battle. The main point is that TB and poverty are closely linked and form a vicious cycle," Sampaio, a former president of Portugal, told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he was attending the UN World Health Organization's (WHO) African regional committee meeting.

"HIV/AIDS and TB together display a noxious synergy. In some regions up to 77 percent of TB patients also have HIV/AIDS. Obstacles to [controlling] TB in Africa are enormous. But inaction will be a blot on our consciences, a failure of political governance," said Sampaio.

The envoy said an estimated 2.3 million people had fallen ill with TB in Africa in 2004. More than eight million new cases of the disease, which kills 5,000 people around the world daily, are detected annually.

Sampaio is leading a call for countries to fully fund and implement the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 -- -2015, which was launched by WHO earlier this year. The plan sets out actions required to treat and cure 50 million TB patients, and save 14 million lives.

WHO: Intensified action needed to halt a quarter of a million TB/HIV deaths a year of people living with AIDS

16 August 2006 -- "Joint TB And HIV Interventions Can Save Lives And Must Be Accelerated" says International Aids Society President.Toronto - Leading HIV experts today called on the global HIV community to intensify collaboration on tuberculosis control, to prevent the deaths of a quarter of a million people living with HIV (PLHIV) a year.At the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, HIV Director Dr Kevin De Cock and TB/HIV Coordinator Dr Paul Nunn, both from WHO, were joined by Dr Helene Gayle, the International AIDS Society President . Together, they urged HIV health workers to target and scale-up joint activities for tuberculosis and HIV.

G8 Leaders Commit to Global Plan

19 July 2006 -- Extract from the G8 communiqué on the Fight Against Infectious Diseases:
"One-third of the world's population is exposed to the risk of contracting TB, which claims about two million lives each year. In certain regions, it affects more people today than it did twenty years ago. We reaffirm the commitment we made at the Genoa Summit in 2001 to halt the spread of this disease. We will also support the Global Plan to Stop TB, 2006 -- -2015, which aims to cut TB deaths in half by the year 2015 compared to 1990 levels, saving some 14 million lives over ten years, and call upon all donors and stakeholders to contribute to its effective implementation."

G8 summit must prioritize TB

13 July 2006 -- Geneva, Switzerland - On the eve of the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, G8 leaders have been called to fund their fair share of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 -- -2015, and also honour previous Summit declarations to fight tuberculosis. The demands were made by the Stop TB Partnership, which represents 500 organizations working to eliminate TB worldwide.
Kofi Annan signs the Call to Stop TB
G8 summit web site

Postponement of European High-Level Ministerial Forum

6 July 2006 -- The European High-Level Ministerial Forum, "Tuberculosis - a regional emergency" to have taken place in Copenhagen, 16-17 October 2006 -- has been unavoidably postponed until 2007. New dates will be announced shortly.

TB appears in the UNGASS Declaration on HIV/AIDS

31 May to 1 June 2006 | New York -- There were heated demonstrations by activists at UNGASS due to the perceived short-comings of the new United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. The document is seen as a political roadmap, rather than a plan of action. However, paragraph 33 of the Declaration contains some welcome language on TB. It indicates that Heads of State and Government participating in the review and High-Level Meeting; "Emphasize the need for accelerated scale-up of collaborative activities on tuberculosis and HIV in line with the Global Plan to stop TB 2006 -- -2015 and investment in new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines appropriate for people with TB/HIV co-infection;"

UN Secretary-General endorses The Call to Stop TB

31 May 2006 -- In a recent meeting with Jorge Sampaio, the UN Special Envoy for TB, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan signed The Call to Stop TB, a campaign in support of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 -- -2015. The Secretary-General now joins a number of supporters of The Global Plan to Stop TB who are committed and ready to contribute to the battle against TB including UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair; President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo; President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates Jr; Actor, Ralph Fiennes; UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis and others. The meeting between Mr Sampaio and the Secretary-General was part of Mr Sampaio's TB advocacy tour during the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS.

Visit of UN Special Envoy to Stop TB

25 May 2006 -- Geneva -- The newly-appointed UN Secretary-General Special Envoy to Stop TB, Mr Jorge Sampaio, visited the World Health Organization, including the Stop TB Department and the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat for a series of strategic meetings to discuss the urgent need for enlisting support in the fight against TB. Meetings with WHO Regional Directors, the Assistant Director General for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Stop TB WHO, Partnership Secretariat staff, and others will contribute to Mr Sampaio's TB agenda for the coming months. Mr Sampaio, the former President of Portugal, was appointed Special Envoy to Stop TB by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan earlier this month in an effort to place TB higher on the international agenda.

Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General, World Health Organization

22 May 2006 -- It is with great sadness we inform partners and friends that Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization, died early this morning. Dr Lee had been in hospital in Geneva since the previous Saturday afternoon, where he underwent surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 61 years old. The sudden loss of Dr. Lee is a devastating tragedy for the international community. His inspiring leadership enabled all of us to fulfil our role in improving public health globally and for the most affected people. He was nominated on 28 January 2003 by the World Health Organization's Executive Board for the post of Director-General of the agency and elected to the post on 21 May by the Member States of WHO for a five-year term. Before his election as the WHO director-general, Dr Lee was a world leader in the fight against two of the greatest challenges to international health and development - vaccine preventable diseases of children and TB. As Director of the WHO Stop TB Department from December 2000 to January 2003 he was instrumental to the development of the Stop TB Partnership, which is now internationally recognized as one of the most successful and dynamic global public-private partnerships for health, and he inspired the creation of the GDF. The Stop TB family worldwide is united in grief on this sad day. The Stop TB Partnership extends our deepest and most sincere condolences to Dr Lee's family.
In memorial of Dr LEE Jong-wook (1945 - 2006)

UN Secretary-General appoints Former Head of State as first Special Envoy to Stop TB

11 May 2006 -- New York - In an important landmark for TB advocacy, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed today former President of Portugal Mr. Jorge Sampaio as the first Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis. Mr. Sampaio, whose appointment takes effect immediately, will work with the Stop TB Partnership to place TB higher on international political and development agendas. He will also work to build strong commitment for the Global Plan to Stop TB to achieve the TB Millennium Development Goal and save an additional 14 million lives from TB by 2015.

Countries provide successful model for massive tuberculosis treatment scale-up

10 May 2006 -- Findings from a series of projects have clearly demonstrated that multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) can be effectively treated in low-income countries and also provide a solid foundation for rapidly expanding TB control programmes. The conclusions, released today, present a major rethink on the feasibility of addressing the threat of drug resistant TB in poor countries.

Special Summit of African Union on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria

2-4 May 2006 -- >Abuja, Nigeria: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU Commission, UN Agencies and development partners, called a Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. African leaders, UN officials, activists and others debated on the best health institutional arrangements and health financing arrangements in Africa to combat the three diseases in Africa. In a special message to the Summit, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for strengthened commitment in the fight against the TB emergency in the region and appealed to leaders "to commit to full implementation of the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB."

G8 Health Ministers endorse plan to Stop TB

28 April 2006 -- The statement supporting the Global Plan was part of the outcome document of the G8 Ministers meeting in Moscow where top global health priorities were discussed in the lead-up to the G-8 Leaders' Summit in St Petersburg in July.

Health and Development Networks (HDNet) has published a comprehensive report on the Stop TB e-forum

26 April 2006 -- Health and Development Networks (HDNet) has published a comprehensive report on the Stop TB e-forum, an open online discussion launched on World TB Day 2005 that focuses on the role of frontline care providers in the fight against TB. The e-forum has become a lively platform for exchanging views and ideas on a variety of TB issues, having attracted hundreds of contributions from participants in more than 30 countries representing every region of the world.

New Working Group Chairs elected

24 April 2006 -- The Stop TB Partnership is pleased to announce the recent election of Michel Greco as the Chair of the New TB Vaccines Working Group and of Paul Sommerfeld as Chair of the Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization Working Group. The Stop TB Partnership Secretariat welcomes the new Chairs and looks forward to continuing to support the work of the Working Groups. The Secretariat is very appreciative of the tremendous contributions made by the previous Chairs of these two Working Groups (Professor Douglas Young and Dr Joanne Carter respectively).

National TB monitoring mission to the Central African Republic attacked, resulting in tragic loss of lives

10 April 2006 -- The Stop TB Partnership has just received solemn and saddening news from the Central African Republic. Partners will be upset to hear that a national TB monitoring mission was attacked by armed bandits about 200 km from the CAR capital Bangui on Monday 10 April 2006 -- . The two doctors on the mission, Dr Kaba-Mebry of the National TB control Programme in the Ministry of Health and Dr Kaffa of the Institut Pasteur (Bangui), were shot and killed. Two or more of the accompanying military escort were also killed during the shootout, and the driver is currently in a critical condition. Both doctors were on a monitoring mission to accelerate the implementation of the National TB Control Programme. Our thoughts go to the families and loved ones of those colleagues who died and to all those who risk their lives on a daily basis in the fight against TB. We would like to invite all of you to take a moment to remember those lost on this mission and the dedication and ultimate sacrifice they displayed in their efforts to combat TB.

Canada Marks World TB Day With Continued Support to Global Drug Facility

02 April 2006 -- Ottawa, Canada - On World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2006, the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of International Cooperation announced that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will provide $20 million this year in additional support to the fight against TB. The funding will provide effective anti-tuberculosis drugs in low-income countries with a high prevalence of the disease, and those affected by humanitarian crises.

World TB Day, 24 March 2006

23 March 2006 -- This year's World TB Day theme -- Actions for Life: towards a world free of tuberculosis -- highlights efforts at global, national and local level to mobilize support for the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 -- -2015.Visit the World TB Day web site to download campaign materials, to view a growing list of country activities and more. If you have planned activities you would like to report, please send us a brief report with any advocacy materials you have to stoptbadvocacy@who.int.

The Vatican: Solidarity towards TB sufferers

22 March 2006 -- At the end of today's general audience, which was held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that Friday, March 24, is World TB Day, an annual United Nations initiative to combat tuberculosis. This is, said the Holy Father, "an appropriate occasion to call for renewed commitment at the global level, that the necessary resources may be made available to cure our sick brothers and sisters, who often also live in situations of great poverty. I encourage the initiatives of assistance and solidarity towards them, hoping that they may always be guaranteed dignified conditions of life."

WHO: Americas, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions on track to reach tuberculosis control targets

22 March 2006 -- Three of the world's six regions are expected to achieve targets for tuberculosis (TB) control, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report published today. The Region of the Americas and the South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions should reach targets set by the World Health Assembly, to detect 70% of TB cases and to successfully treat 85% of these cases by the end of 2005, according to the Global Tuberculosis Control 2006 report.

Call to Stop TB" campaign launch

20 March 2006 -- In the runup to World TB Day 2006 -- this week, civil society groups are today launching the "Call to Stop TB", a web-driven campaign to generate commitment among world leaders, governments, civil society, corporations and individuals to support the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 -2015. The Call is an opportunity for all concerned to voice their conviction that TB must be addressed to prevent needless deaths and alleviate poverty. Endorsements of the Call to Stop TB will support advocacy efforts at all levels and be presented at key political events throughout the period leading up to World TB Day 2007, in order to raise the profile of TB on political and development agendas. Your support is crucial to this success of the campaign.

WHO launches new stop TB strategy to fight the global tuberculosis epidemic

17 March 2006 -- A new strategy to fight one of the world's leading killers - tuberculosis (TB) - was launched today by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new "Stop TB Strategy" addresses the current challenges facing countries in responding to TB - how to continue scaling-up TB control activities while also addressing the spread of TB and HIV coinfection and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Both TB/HIV, especially in Africa, and MDR-TB, particularly in eastern Europe, are seriously hampering global control efforts to reduce the 1.7 million deaths caused by TB every year.

Brazil making great progress in TB control

14 February 2006 -- A recent visit by members of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board to Brazil witnessed the great progress being made in TB control in the country. The Minister and Vice Minister of Health expressed their full support in the development of a 10-year plan in line with the recently launched Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 -- -2015, and plan to further collaborate with the private sector, NGOs, communities affected by TB, academia and other enthusiastic parties in the fight against TB. Additionally, Stop TB partners within the country are similarly committed, particularly in the area of social mobilization in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Procurement Agents to Purchase First-line anti-TB Drugs

07 February 2006 -- The Global TB Drug Facility (GDF), housed within the World Health Organization, is seeking qualified procurement agents to manage the purchase of first-line anti-Tuberculosis (TB) drugs and related supplies from an existing pool of suppliers for delivery to GDF customers around the world. The anti-TB drugs and related supplies are expected to have a value of approximately US$40 million per annum and will be financed through the GDF. Interested parties must submit their EOI and supporting materials to the GDF no later than 28 February 2006.

Launch of Global Plan to Stop TB

27 January 2006 -- In addition to the launch of the Global Plan at Davos, a series of media events took place on 27 January 2006 -- around the world featuring a number of high-profile individuals dedicated to a TB-free world. The Global Plan is a comprehensive assessment of the action and resources needed to implement the Stop TB strategy, to make an impact on the global TB burden, and to reach the Stop TB Partnership's goals for 2015.Spread the word about the Global Plan to Stop TB!.

Message of thanks from Partnership Executive Secretary to all partners

OBASANJO, BROWN AND GATES CALL ON WORLD LEADERS TO FUND NEW PLAN TO STOP TUBERCULOSIS

GDF helps meet urgent drug needs after Pakistan earthquake

26 January 2006 -- In response to the earthquake (7.6 magnitude) last year that struck north-east of Islamabad, Pakistani Kashmir, on 8 October 2005, the GDF provided an emergency grant of much needed anti-TB drugs to Pakistan. The approved grant which should be sufficient to treat 5000 TB patients, was completed less than a month after the earthquake struck and is schedule to arrive in a few days. The drugs will help to replenish stocks lost and damaged during the earthquake.

WHO Director-General highlights impact of the GDF during the 117th session of WHO Executive Board

25 January 2006 -- In his opening speech to the WHO Executive Board, Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General of WHO, highlighted the role of the Global Drug Facility as " …a model of how to support countries in providing high-quality essential medicines efficiently to large numbers of people." Calling attention to the accomplishments of GDF, Dr Lee reported that the GDF has placed orders for TB medicines for 7.3 million people over the last five years, contributing to a near doubling of DOTS coverage between 2001 and 2005 worldwide. The Executive Board is composed of 32 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly.