News Stories 2007
2007: a year to remember for the Stop TB Partnership
19 December 2007 -- Geneva -- In 2007 the global fight against tuberculosis gained momentum as never before, as signs of progress materialized amid concerns about the challenges posed by drug resistance and TB/HIV co-infection. More...
Canada's Opera Lyra joins the Stop TB Partnership
14 December 2007 -- Ottawa -- Opera Lyra, a non-profit organization responsible for opera productions in Canada's National Capital Region, has joined the Stop TB Partnership. In its new role as a Stop TB Partner, Opera Lyra will collaborate on one of the Partnership's newest initiatives, Music to Stop TB.
"We are delighted to participate in the Music to Stop TB initiative, which will raise awareness about TB among people who love opera and inspire love of the opera among people already committed to fighting TB," said Elizabeth Howarth, General Director of Opera Lyra.
Music to Stop TB is an advocacy project that draws on longstanding links between TB and opera--in particular, the operas La Traviata (Verdi) and La Bohème (Puccini), whose narratives focus on the tragic death of a young woman from TB. The movement also seeks to raise awareness about TB through performance of music by Chopin, Boccherini, Pergolesi and other composers whose lives were taken by TB.
"I welcome Opera Lyra as a valued partner, and look forward to a harmonious duet, as we raise our voices together about the urgent need to fight TB," said Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.
Opera Lyra was founded in 1984 and has grown into one of the largest independent arts organizations in the Ottawa region. It seeks to make opera accessible to as large an audience as possible through community outreach and education.
New Study says aggressive tuberculosis control could yield substantial economic gains for poor countries
Washington DC December 12, 2007 - A new World Bank research report, completed on behalf of the Stop TB Partnership, finds that 22 countries with the world’s highest numbers of TB cases could earn significantly more than they spend on TB diagnosis and treatment if they signed onto the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB. Highly affected African countries could gain up to 9 times their investments in TB control; and those outside Africa a 15-fold return. The study also warns about the need to step up TB control worldwide with the growing emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in Southern Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
"We already had sufficient reasons to step up the fight against TB. But this study provides a new incentive. It demonstrates that fighting TB is not only about preventing illness and death --it is also a smart investment. We urge our partners and all countries affected by TB to take notice and accelerate their efforts to accelerate TB diagnosis and treatment in line with the Global Plan," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.
World AIDS Day a moment to reflect on the challenge of TB/HIV
28 November 2007 -- Geneva -- On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2007, Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, called on all countries, working with their partners, to do more to address the massive global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) among people living with HIV. "Too many people are dying needlessly as a result of TB, which is still a leading cause of death among people living with HIV. Every day that goes by without action adds to the unacceptable death toll in people and communities affected by TB and HIV," he said.
Throughout the world, 12% of all TB deaths occur in people living with HIV. TB kills up to half of all AIDS patients in some settings. Yet TB is a curable and preventable disease.
The majority of cases of tuberculosis in people living with HIV occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 80% of TB patients may be co-infected with HIV." "The burden on Africa is of such high magnitude that there are grave concerns about this region reaching the Millennium Development Goal related to TB. Some African countries are stepping up their efforts on TB/HIV, however, which is very encouraging," Dr Espinal said.
Nevertheless greater investment by both endemic countries and donors is crucial, he stressed. "Investing in TB control is also an investment in HIV care; you cannot effectively deal with one without addressing the other," he said. "More investment in research to develop new diagnostics, medicines and vaccines also is critical."
Dr Espinal answered some frequently asked questions on the TB/HIV pandemic.
Stop TB Partnership announces World TB Day theme
9 November 2007 - Cape Town, South Africa - A campaign aimed at challenging people all over the world to do their part to fight tuberculosis (TB) will be launched early in 2008 in the run-up to World TB Day. Plans for the campaign were announced by Stop TB Ambassador Anna Cataldi at the opening ceremony of the World Conference of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease at the Cape Town International Convention Center today. World TB Day is held each year on 24 March.
"The slogan, I am stopping TB, says that everyone can take an active role in helping all people in need gain access to accurate TB diagnosis and effective treatment," Ms Cataldi said.
Stop TB Partnership and Kochon Foundation announce recipients of 2007 award for distinguished achievements on combating tuberculosis
9 November 2007 -- Cape Town, South Africa --The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China will share this year's Kochon prize, which is awarded annually to persons, institutions, or organizations that have made a highly significant contribution to combating tuberculosis (TB). The selections were announced at the opening ceremony of the World Conference of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre today.
STOP TB AND LILLY MDR-TB PARTNERSHIPS ANNOUNCE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN REPORTING ON TUBERCULOSIS
8 November 2007 -- Cape Town, South Africa -- A new journalism prize-- the Stop TB Partnership/Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Journalism Award -- was announced today on the eve of the World Conference of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. This award, which will be granted for the first time in 2008, will recognize outstanding reporting and commentary in print and on the web that materially increases the public's knowledge and understanding of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in countries affected by the disease.
Two thousand march through Cape Town to raise TB awareness
8 November 2007 -- Cape Town, South Africa -- Some 2000 people seeking to raise awareness about the urgent need for better TB control marched through Cape Town today on the eve of the opening of the World Conference on Lung Health. The march was organized by South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign.
HDN Key Correspondent (KC) Team coverage of the 38th Union World Conference on Lung Health, Cape Town, South Africa
Sponsored by the Stop TB Partnership
A team of eight Key Correspondents from India, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe provide daily issue-focused coverage of the Union Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Coverage is focused on the personal perspective of TB and responses/reactions to the Conference proceedings as they relate to on-the-ground experiences. These stories are based on presentations, interviews, and press conference events during the Conference.
Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization Working Group Meets in Cape Town
5-6 November 2007 - Cape Town, South Africa
The Stop TB Partnership's Working Group on Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization held its first full meeting since the Working Group's launch in 2005. The two-day meeting, which was held prior to the Union World Conference on Lung Health, was attended by close to 100 participants, including members of the Working Group as well as other interested parties.
Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board meets in Berlin
24 October 2007 -- Berlin -- Dr Manfred Konukiewitz, Deputy General Director at German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, spoke at the opening session of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board yesterday. The two-day meeting, which opened on the day immediately following the European Ministerial Forum on Tuberculosis, also held in Berlin, was hosted by the German Development Bank (KfW). The Board's Chair Irene Koek, chief of USAID's Infectious Disease Division for the Global Health Bureau, presided.
Other items on the agenda included an address by Anna Cataldi, the newly appointed Stop TB Ambassador; and discussions on how Stop TB can work together with global health initiatives to strengthen health systems. Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Stop TB and the former President of Portugal, reported on his recent activities.
On day two of the meeting the Board focussed on overcoming bottlenecks in second-line anti-TB drug procurement, raising funds for TB and the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat Work Plan 2008/2009.
Ministries from 49 countries in the wider European region sign the Berlin Declaration on tuberculosis
22 October 2007 -- Berlin -- Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Stop TB and former President of Portugal was the keynote speaker at the European Ministerial Forum, ‘"All Against Tuberculosis" held in Berlin today. Mrs Ulla Schmidt, Federal Minister of Health of Germany, and Marc Danzon, Regional Director, WHO European Regional Office, also spoke during the opening session of the forum, which was organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe and the German Ministry of Health.
Representative from ministries of 49 countries attended the forum, which was called on an emergency basis to advance development of a Europe-wide approach to controlling and eventually eliminating TB.
"In our globalizing world, to successfully combat the threat of TB, a common strategy is critical," Dr Sampaio said in his speech, adding that it is vital for "the European Union, as well as other major organizations, like for instance the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Council of Europe, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and other fora join forces to address the TB epidemic and face the common threats of the emerging MDR-TB."
The gathered Ministers endorsed the Berlin Declaration on Tuberculosis, which "notes with concern that TB has re-emerged as an increasing health security threat in the WHO European Region" and "recognises that a Europe-wide approach will be key to the control and eventual elimination of TB". The declaration also calls for the adoption of the Stop TB Strategy in all its components, including addressing the funding gap between the total resources available and the resources needed to control TB and accelerate the development of new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goal on TB.
"Today, European ministers have demonstrated their commitment to stopping TB," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, Geneva. "Now they must exert leadership on increasing domestic spending on TB. And donor countries that have signed this declaration need to make a stronger commitment to vulnerable neighboring countries that bear a heavy burden of TB by dedicating greater funds and technical assistance. Additionally, it is vital that the Global Fund continue supporting these countries for many more years."
UN Special Envoy addresses a high-level Washington audience on global TB challenges
17 October 2007 -- Washington, DC -- Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Stop TB and the former President of Portugal, was the keynote speaker today at a policy luncheon organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The luncheon, which was held at the Dirksen Senate Office building, took place at a time when the US Congress is deliberating the 2008 foreign aid funding bill and considering increasing total bilateral TB appropriations for 2008 to $200 million. If approved, the 2008 funding level will be double what the US appropriated last year and would be the single largest commitment in the fight against TB.
"It is gratifying to see the U.S. Congress taking the lead by seeking to double its spending on fighting this deadly scourge," Dr Sampaio said. "In light of the growing problem of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, world leaders are acknowledging the urgent need to step up the global fight to stop TB."
Other speakers at the event, which was entitled "The TB Frontier: New Strategies, HIV Linkages, Threats, and Tools", included Senator Sherrod Brown (Democrat, Ohio); Ambassador Mark Dybul, US Global AIDS Coordinator; Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Stop TB Department; Dr Irene Koek, chief of USAID's Infectious Disease Division and Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board; and J. Stephen Morrison, Executive Director of the CSIIS HIV/AIDS Task Force.
STOP TB PARTNERSHIP AND UNITAID JOIN FORCES TO ADDRESS ANTI-TUBERCULOSIS DRUG SHORTFALLS
8 October 2007 - Geneva -- The Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility and UNITAID today announced a collaboration with 19 countries to address life-threatening shortages of anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs. The initiative will provide these drugs to countries that are scaling up their TB control efforts and have confirmed future support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria or another donor but are not able to cover their full needs at present.
"This collaboration will deliver drugs to more than three-quarters of a million people who otherwise might not get treatment or could have their treatment interrupted because no drugs were available," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "Getting anti-TB drugs to people who need them and making sure they complete their treatment is the best weapon we have for preventing drug-resistant TB."
The project, which is restricted to anti-TB treatments suitable for people whose form of TB is not resistant to standard therapies, also provides for the establishment of a stockpile of anti-TB drugs that will be made available to countries facing shortages because of humanitarian emergencies or inadequate capacity for planning orders.
Special Envoy to Stop TB visits premier TB clinic in New Jersey
September 26 2007 -- New Jersey, United States -- Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, and former President of Portugal, today toured the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute and its clinical facility, the Lattimore Clinic, in Newark. He also accompanied Ramona Valentin, a Public Health Representative, to Elizabeth, New Jersey to visit the homes of patients receiving TB treatment. Lattimore, which opened in 2002 and is widely viewed as an exemplar for TB programmes because of the excellent and comprehensive care it provides, is the only clinic built for the sole purpose of serving TB patients in the United States in the last century.
Film star Rupert Everett visits TB programmes in Russia
26 September 2007 -- Moscow -- Rupert Everett, renowned film and theatre actor and Special Representative of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, today completed a three-day tour of Russia. The purpose of his trip was to learn more about the TB and HIV epidemics and what is being done to reverse them and visit projects addressing both diseases in St. Petersburg and Moscow. This was the first official trip with UNAIDS for Everett, who has starred in highly popular films including "My Best Friend’s Wedding" and "Another Country" , since he was appointed a Special Representative on World AIDS Day 2006.
Stop TB Partnership welcomes Global Fund announcement on donor pledges
27 September 2007 -- The Stop TB Partnership today welcomed the announcement that donors have pledged US$ 9.7 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its Second Replenishment Meeting in Berlin. The Global Fund has said its total funding need for 2008-2010 is US$ 12-18 billion.
"I congratulate the Global Fund on this excellent news. It means that the Fund will grow and continue helping countries to fight the three most devastating infectious diseases currently faced by mankind," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "At the same time, this should be a moment for endemic countries and donors to recall that the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015 remains seriously under-funded. Endemic countries must plan in line with the actions suggested in the Global Plan and commit their own funds--in addition to Global Fund resources. We also need urgently to step up technical assistance to countries to ensure that Global Fund monies are invested wisely. The Stop TB Partnership and its network of technical agencies remain committed to work hand in hand with the Global Fund to ensure a better future for the nearly nine million people who become ill with TB every year."
First Lady of Georgia is keynote speaker at MDR-TB meeting
20 September 2007 -- Tbilisi, Georgia -- Sandra Roelofs, the first Lady of Georgia, was a speaker today at the opening session of the Stop TB Partnership’s Working Group on MDR-TB, meeting. The event brought together people who have worked on projects approved by the Green Light Committee and representatives from countries around the world that are engaged in MDR-TB management. Its aim was to share best practices and challenges with a view to developing strategies for accelerating the scale-up of MDR-TB management in accordance with the Global MDR-TB and XDR-TB Response Plan 2007-2008. The First Lady, who has been traveling in the region to advocate for good TB control, spoke of recent progress on diagnosis and treatment in Georgia.
Former UN Messenger of Peace to fight tuberculosis as a Stop TB Ambassador
20 September 2007 -- Geneva -- Anna Cataldi, who served as UN Messenger of Peace from 1998 to 2007, has joined the global fight against tuberculosis (TB). Ms Cataldi, who was today appointed as an Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership, will raise awareness worldwide about the unfair burden of TB on refugees, migrants, people living in poverty and other disadvantaged groups.
"I am grateful to the Stop TB Partnership for giving me this opportunity to advocate on behalf of those suffering from this disease," Ms Cataldi said.
Welcoming the announcement, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised Anna Cataldi for her tireless efforts and devotion. "She was an active, compassionate and productive Messenger. She traveled to difficult places, such as Afghanistan and Somalia, to bring support, encouragement and hope to the desperate and voiceless. I am delighted she will now devote her energies to the Stop TB campaign," he said.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Commits $280 Million for TB Research
18 September 2007 -- Seattle -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced $280 million in grants to speed development of TB vaccines and diagnostic tests and anti-TB drugs. The funds are specifically dedicated to supporting the priorities of the Global Plan to Stop TB (2006-2015). The grants focus on three areas:
- Vaccine development: $200 million over five years to the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation to conduct clinical trials of up to six TB vaccine candidates.
- Diagnostics: $62 million over five years to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to develop TB tests that are more accurate and simpler to use.
- Drug discovery: Nine grants totalling $18 million to identify new TB treatments to combat drug resistance. Grant recipients in this category include the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Colorado State University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Johns Hopkins University, Ordway Research Institute, Northeastern University and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
Welcoming the announcement, Dr. Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, noted that TB is a major threat, and stopping it must be a top global priority. "We have an achievable action plan to reduce the TB burden, and it is encouraging to see new resources going to Stop TB partners to support this plan," he said.
STOP TB PARTNERSHIP WELCOMES CREATION OF THE NEW INTERNATIONAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP
7 September 2007 | Geneva -- Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, today welcomed the launch of the International Health Partnership, which seeks among other goals, to step up the fight against TB.
Creation of the Partnership was announced on Wednesday in London by Prime Minister Gordon Brown who, in his speech, called on donor governments, health agencies and developing countries to step up the fight against TB, polio, measles and other ancient scourges. "There is no greater cause than that every man, woman and child in the world should be able to benefit from the best medicine and healthcare," Mr Brown said.
The new Partnership's overall aim is to meet the eight Millennium Development Goals agreed by the United Nations to help eradicate global poverty and combat disease.
The 10 Downing Street launch was also attended by Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and French development minister Jean-Marie Bockel. Organizations that have signed on as partners include UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria.
Stop TB Partners' Forum to take place early in 2009
27 August 2007 -- Geneva -- The Stop TB Partnership is issuing a call to WHO Member States and Stop TB partner organizations to submit nominations for a host city for the Third Partner’s Forum, to be held early in 2009.
The selection process will be managed by a selection committee, established for the purpose, under the auspices of the Stop TB Coordinating Board. The winning host city and date of the Partner’s Forum will be formally endorsed by the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board at its next meeting on 24 October 2007.
The Forum is the General Assembly of the Stop TB Partnership and the ultimate authority to which all elements of the Partnership are answerable. The Forum is an inclusive, consultative meeting of representatives of all Stop TB partners, with particular emphasis on high level representation from affected countries, donor countries and key partners.
The deadline for nominations is 15 October.
Passing of a shining light in TB research
18 July 2007 -- Baltimore, Maryland -- George Wills Comstock, a physician, epidemiologist and important leader on tuberculosis research died at his home in Maryland, USA on Sunday. He was 92.
A professor emeritus at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, he was a distinguished epidemiologist who conducted seminal research on tuberculosis control and treatment and on cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.
Comstock authored hundreds of scientific papers and received numerous awards for his work on tuberculosis control, including the John Snow Award from the American Public Health Association, the Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal from the American Thoracic Society, the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Career Research Award.
He began his career in public health as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service in 1942. During the last six years of his 20 years of service, he was the chief of Epidemiological Studies, Tuberculosis Program. In 1957, Comstock conducted research in Bethel, Alaska, where tuberculosis was rampant. His work there demonstrated the effectiveness of the drug isoniazid in preventing tuberculosis-data that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still used in 2000 when the agency updated its treatment guidelines for latent tuberculosis.
In 1962, Comstock founded the Johns Hopkins Training Center for Public Health Research and Prevention in Hagerstown, Maryland. For the next 30 years, Comstock oversaw community-based research studies on numerous diseases including cancer, heart disease and eye disease. The Center was renamed in Comstock’s honor in 2005 and is now an important training ground for epidemiology students from around the world.
Based on Reporting from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) calls for increased investment in TB control
28 June 2007 -- Geneva -- The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board has requested the international community to significantly increase investment in basic tuberculosis control programs in line with the World Health Organization and Stop TB Partnership as the key to preventing the further development and spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The Board has also asked that they dedicate considerable additional resources to fill the long-term global financing gaps for tuberculosis and HIV.
In his speech to the Board, UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot acknowledged tuberculosis as the leading cause of illness and death in people living with HIV. "We continue to miss valuable opportunities to detect tuberculosis and prevent it spreading among people living with HIV. The emergence of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis strains is a dramatic wake-up call: if we don’t factor and integrate tuberculosis into HIV treatment programmes, we will get nowhere", he said.
HIV/AIDS and TB are so closely connected that the term "co-epidemic" or "dual epidemic" is often used to describe their relationship, which is also referred to as TB/HIV or HIV/TB. Many people infected with HIV in developing countries develop TB as the first manifestation of AIDS. The two diseases represent a deadly combination, since they are far more destructive together than either disease alone. At least one-third of the 38.6 million people living with HIV worldwide are co-infected with TB and at greatly increased risk of developing TB disease.
UN Messenger of Peace visits Afghanistan to support TB control efforts
24 June 2007 -- Herat, Afghanistan -- Anna Cataldi, UN Messenger of Peace, and Mr Massimiiano d'Antuono, Deputy Italian Ambassador in Herat (right), were present for the inauguration of a new TB hospital built with the support of the government of Italy. Ms Cataldi is visiting Afghanistan at the invitation of the Office of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. Her aim is to build further political commitment and support to TB control from the Afghan authorities and partners, including donor countries and NGOs working in the field. His Excellency Amin Fatimi, the Afghan Health Minister, also was present at the ceremony. As part of her mission Ms Cataldi also is meeting with President Hamid Karzai.
Launch of US$2.15 billion dollar plan to contain drug-resistant tuberculosis
22 June 2007, Geneva - Hundreds of thousands of cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis can be prevented and as many as 134 000 lives saved through the implementation of a two-year response plan, launched today by the World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership.
The Global MDR-TB and XDR-TB Response Plan 2007-2008 sets out measures needed now to prevent, treat and control extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). The plan also sets in motion actions to reach a 2015 goal of providing access to drugs and diagnostic tests to all MDR-TB and XDR-TB patients, saving the lives of up to 1.2 million patients.
Maria Freire to leave the TB Alliance
12 June 2007 | New York City -- The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development announced today the decision of CEO and President Dr Maria C. Freire to leave her position after six years of leading the organization.
G-8 leaders pledge additional US$ 60 billion for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria
8 June 2007 | Heiligendamm, Germany -- G-8 leaders reaffirmed earlier pledges to support public health in Africa with their Summit Declaration, "Growth and Responsibility in Africa," which reiterates the urgent need to invest in health programmes that will help countries save and improve lives and reach the health-related Millennium Development Goals.
The Declaration commits at least US$ 60 billion for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The Declaration also includes a specific pledge to scale up efforts towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, treatment and care and support by 2010; and a commitment to strengthen health systems and services, including efforts to address the global health worker shortage. It also recognizes the special needs of women and girls, such as access to information and tools to help them safeguard their reproductive health.
Air traveller catapults XDR-TB into the headlines
1 June 2007 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA -- The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health advisory in connection with the possible exposure of air travellers on two trans-Atlantic flights to extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). CDC officials are recommending medical evaluation of cabin crew members and passengers sitting near a U.S. citizen with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) who traveled from Atlanta to Paris on May 12 and returned to the United States on May 24, flying from Prague to Montreal and then crossing over to the U.S. by car.
The case - which has prompted a flurry of media stories worldwide - is worrisome because XDR-TB, a rare form of TB, is resistant to almost all drugs used to treat the disease and is lethal in many cases. XDR-TB can be spread from one person to another.
Stop TB Partnership delivers tuberculosis treatments for 10 million people in six years
29 May 2007 -- Washington, DC/Geneva -- The Stop TB Partnership announced today that its drug supply arm, the Global Drug Facility, has provided anti-TB drug treatments for 10 million people to 78 countries in the past six years. A reliable supply of drugs is crucial both for preventing deaths and for fighting the spread of drug-resistant TB.
60th World Health Assembly passes a TB resolution
23 May 2007 -- Geneva -- Ms M E Ngaunje, Miniister of Health of Malawi, was among the four dozen delegates who spoke in support of the resolution on TB passed by the World Health Assembly today. The resolution urges WHO Member States to develop and implement long-term plans for TB prevention and control aimed at accelerating progress towards halving TB deaths and prevalence by 2015, through the full implementation of the Global Plan to Stop TB, 2006-2015. WHO is requested to strengthen its support to countries affected by TB, in particular those heavily affected by Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB) and Extensively Drug-Resistant TB (XDR-TB), as well as TB/HIV. Member States are also urged, where warranted, to declare TB an emergency.
UN SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR STRONGER ACTION ON TB/HIV
21 May 2007 -- New York -- In his address at the General Assembly Review of the Declaration on HIV/AIDS, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for "a comprehensive approach to tackle diseases intimately linked with HIV -- especially tuberculosis".Read the speech [.pdf]
UN Special Envoy to Stop TB chosen for new international role
26 April 2007-- New York-- Former Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio, the UN Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis, has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the as the first United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, the international initiative set up in 2005 to promote reconciliation between religions, cultures and nations.
His role will be to promote the Alliance of Civilizations as a credible and viable attempt to diminish the dangerous tensions between diverse societies and their threat to international stability, a UN spokesperson said. He will also assist the Secretary-General in trying to defuse crises that arise at the intersection of culture and politics, along with measures aimed at restarting the Middle East peace process and encouraging political pluralism in Muslim countries.
Dr Sampaio will perform his new duties concurrently with those related to his many and varied activities around the world as the Special Envoy to Stop TB.
Special Envoy on TB addresses European parliamentarians
10 April 2007 - Brussels -- UN Secretary General Special Envoy on TB and former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio spoke before the Development Committee of the European Parliament.
Malawi declares TB a national emergency
27 March 2007 -- The Hon. Mrs Marjorie Ngaunje, M.P., Malawi’s Minister of Health (left) and Dr Luís Gomes Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa were among the public health officials and dignitaries gathered in Lilongwe to declare tuberculosis a national emergency in Malawi. The government of Malawi has called for urgent and extraordinary actions to halt the spread of TB and deaths from the disease.
Music to Stop TB
25 March 2007 -- At a benefit concert on Sunday 25 March at the Black Diamond Theatre in Copenhagen, Soprano Elsebeth Dreisig and tenor Niels Jørgen Riis sang arias from La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi's opera about doomed lovers whose final parting is brought about by the death of the heroine, Violetta, from tuberculosis. And celebrated pianist Leif Ove Andsnes played Frédéric Chopin, the composer famed not only for his timeless piano works but for his untimely death from TB at the age of 39.
The concert, the proceeds of which will be donated towards the repair and reopening of the children's TB hospital in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, also included performances by baritone Vincenzo Taormina and pianist James Vaughan and works by Sibelius, Liszt, Mompou and Puccini.
The event was sponsored by WHO/Europe in association with the Danish Lung Association and the Stop TB Partnership.The Embassy of Italy in Denmark, Countess Cath Alexandrine Danneskiold-Samsøe and conductor Giancarlo Andretta also provided support. The Minister of Health of Tajikistan and diplomats from Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy, Hungary, and Portugal were in attendance.
Lilly Announces Additional US$50 Million Investment in Global Tuberculosis Partnership
22 March 2007 - Eli Lilly has announced plans to invest an additional US$50 million in an innovative, global partnership to fight Multi- Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is an international alliance of 14 public and private organizations, including businesses, humanitarian organizations, academic institutions, and professional health care associations.
Read the press release
STOP TB in lights, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
21 March 2007 - At the Stop TB Partnership we encourage you to light up other buildings around the world in support of World TB Day 2007.
Please send your photos of the illuminated buildings to email@example.com with a brief description and credit and we will post them on our web site
REMINDER: CALL FOR ABSTRACTSFinal deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 March 2007
19 March 2007 - 38th Union World Conference on Lung Health, 8 to 12 November 2007, Cape Town, South Africa, Conference theme: Confronting the challenges of HIV and MDR in TB prevention and care
Please note that the final deadline for submitting your abstract is 31 March 2007. If you have not yet submitted your abstract, please do so by clicking on the conference website. All abstracts should be submitted on line. Authors will be notified about the acceptance of their abstracts by e-mail by the end of June 2007. Should you have any queries or difficulties in submitting your abstracts please do not hesitate to contact us at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Preliminary Programme will be posted on the conference website: http://www.worldlunghealth.org in a few days. Online registration for the conference and hotel accommodation will be accessible via the website as of May 2007.
Dr Nils BILLO, MD, MPH, Executive Director
Dr Enis BARIS, MD, Ph.D, Chair, Coordinating Committee of Scientific Activities
A call from the highest mountain tops to Stop TB
5 March 2007 - Lhawang Dhondup, a guide with the expedition company Mountain Link, and two climbers unfold a Stop TB flag (for an America free of tuberculosis) at the summit of Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina in January. The group was on a two-week-long expedition up the mountain, which reaches a height of 6,962 metres and is the tallest peak in the Americas. Dhondup plans to raise Stop TB flags on other peaks during future expeditions.
On-line campaign on drug resistant TB
2 March 2007 - According to latest estimates, 10% of all new TB infections are resistant to at least one anti-TB drug. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) are currently in the news following recent reports indicating rates of drug resistance may be far higher than previously thought.
Drug-resistant TB poses a grave global public health threat, especially in populations with high rates of HIV, and requires an immediate and urgent global response.
In the 50 days leading up to World TB Day (Saturday 24th March, 2007), Health and Development Networks and the AIDSCareWatch Campaign are organizing the One-in-Ten Campaign focusing on drug resistant TB. The campaign aims to increase awareness, bring front-line perspectives to current MDR- and XDR-TB discussions, and advocate for TB patients to receive the best possible care.
Stop TB Partnership Kochon Prize 2007
21 February 2007 - The Stop TB Partnership and the Kochon Foundation are pleased to announce nominations are open for the 2007 prize. The Prize is awarded to persons, institutions or organizations, which have made a major contribution to stopping tuberculosis. The deadline for submission is 24th March, World TB Day 2007.
CALL FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION - DEADLINE 31 MARCH 2007
38th Union World Conference on Lung Health,8 -12 November 2007, Cape Town, South Africa
16 February 2007 - The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) will hold its 38th Union World Conference on Lung Health from 8 to 12 November 2007 in Cape Town, South Africa. The theme of the conference is "Confronting the challenges of HIV and MDR in TB prevention and care". This conference will provide a platform of interesting discussions related to TB, HIV, asthma, child lung health, tobacco and all relevant lung health areas with world known health care professionals, leaders and policy makers. We are happy to invite you and all your colleagues to submit abstracts for consideration for presentation at this conference. The deadline for submission is 31 March 2007.
Stop TB welcomes the appointment of the new Global Fund Executive Director
9 February 2007 - The Stop TB Partnership and the WHO Stop TB Department offer their congratulations to Professor Michel Kazatchkine on his appointment as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Professor Kazatchkine, from France, has for many years been a strong and committed supporter of the TB community through his participation in high-level TB events. He has also served as a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of WHO's Stop TB Department, contributing to the development of international health policies particularly in the areas of TB and TB/HIV co-infection.
Secretary-General MeetsSpecial Envoy to Stop TB
8 February 2007 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Jorge Sampaio, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Stop TB and former President of Portugal, at UN Headquarters in New York.
HIV Implementers' Meeting Call for Abstracts
6 February 2007 - Plans for the 2007 HIV Implementers' Meeting, "Scaling Up Through Partnerships," are now underway. The meeting is co-sponsored by: U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), The World Bank, and World Health Organization (WHO). The abstract deadline for this meeting is March 15, 2007. Track C includes several TB-HIV areas and we encourage partners to submit abstracts. The meeting is scheduled for June 2007 with a precise date and location to be determined.
TB ANYWHERE IS TB EVERYWHERE: World TB Day is 50 days away!
2 February 2007 - You can now view the World TB Day web site which will provide, over the next few weeks, information such as campaign materials, news on events taking place around the world, the TB life stories web feature, multi-media resources, The Call to Stop TB, campaign information, and more. If you are planning an event, we encourage you to email us a brief summary of your activity along with any visual materials to email@example.com. Your event information will be posted on the World TB Day web site for others to see. If you are not planning an activity, but are interested in becoming involved in this year's campaign, please visit our web site and look out for campaign suggestions, an event taking place near you that you can become involved in, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what more you can do.
U.N. Special Envoy to Stop TB visits Geneva
2 February 2007 - United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy, former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio visited Geneva 29th-30th January 2007. He met with the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan, UNAIDS Executive Director, Dr Peter Piot, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr António Guterres, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Mr Markku Niskala, and other Stop TB Partnership Partners. Discussions were productive and included identification of specific next steps to move forward the agenda on TB control in light of several threats including the HIV-TB co-epidemic and extensively drug resistant TB ( XDR-TB). The Special Envoy was accompanied in his meetings by Director Stop TB Department Dr Mario Raviglione and Executive Secretary Stop TB Partnership Dr Marcos Espinal.
TDR Career Development Fellowship:Interactive Learning Production with an emphasis on Tuberculosis(in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust)
2 February 2007 - The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) invites applications from persons from the developing countries (applicants from Asia are particularly encouraged to apply) for a 12-month fellowship concerning the production of interactive training and distance learning packages. The training will involve a placement working at the Wellcome Trust headquarters in London. Following completion of the training programme, the Fellow is expected to return to the home institute and make full use of both the training, technology and products produced during the term of the Fellowship, and to actively promote the use of all such products, as well as wide application of remote or stand-alone learning elements and packages in their home country.
WHO Executive Board supports TB control resolution on progress and long-term planning
31 January 2007 - All Member States of WHO are to be urged to develop and implement long-term plans for TB prevention and control, in line with the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2105, and in the context of overall health development plans, under recommendations that will now go forward for consideration of adoption by the World Health Assembly in May 2007. The WHO Executive Board, which met in Geneva, 22-30 January 2007, reviewed final outcomes of the 2005 TB control targets (60% case detection and 84% treatment success) and recommended to the World Health Assembly the adoption of a resolution on progress and long-term planning in tuberculosis control. The actions in the resolution are aimed at accelerating progress towards the international targets for TB control for 2015 through the full implementation of the Stop TB Strategy.
Workshops on grant negotiation and implementation of Global Fund round 6 TB proposals
25 January 2007 - The Stop TB Department, WHO, the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria jointly organized Workshops on grant negotiation and implementation of Global Fund round 6 TB proposals. TB proposals had high success in being approved by the Global Fund in round 6. These Workshops are intended to facilitate the effective implementation of the 34 successful TB proposals.
New Diagnostics Help Fight Tuberculosis
Geneva, Switzerland / Nehren, Germany, January 11th, 2007 - The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and Hain Lifescience (Hain) announced today that the Hain “GenoType® MTBDR plus” test, a new improved molecular test for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), has been approved in Europe and that they have signed an agreement to begin large-scale demonstration projects of the test in high burden countries.