Stop TB Partnership

News Stories 2008

2008: A year of challenges and milestones

The Stop TB Partnership welcomed the approval of US$153 million in spending for global TB control programmes for 2008--up US$72 million from 2007 spending. An additional... Read more [.pdf]

World AIDS Day 2008: Statement by Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership

At the International AIDS Society meeting in Mexico City in August, as public health experts discussed and debated the merits of technical interventions, a group of activists marched into the plenary session.

Don’t ignore TB, they said. We are living with HIV, but dying of TB.

People living with HIV and those who actively support their cause know this truth: TB and HIV are inextricably connected. We cannot fight one effectively without confronting the other.

World AIDS Day is a good moment to reflect on progress we have made on the co-epidemic over the past year.

The most significant landmark was on 9 June. For the first time ever, heads of government, public health and business leaders, heads of UN agencies and activists came together at UN Headquarters for the HIV/TB Global Leaders' Forum. A standing room only crowd attended the forum, which was convened by the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, Dr Jorge Sampaio, and endorsed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Attended by heads of state, the UN Secretary-General and heads of agencies including UNAIDS, PEPFAR and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Forum brought together delegations from nearly 80 countries, including ministerial representation.

A Call for Action on HIV/TB was developed and circulated for comment. In closing the forum, Dr Sampaio urged participants to see it as a living document and stressed the need for partnership and coordination. Partnership is needed at every level, he said, to save millions of lives.

We hope all of our Partners and countries will continue striving to keep this call alive between this World AIDS Day and the next; and engage fully in the task of scaling up HIV/TB collaborative services nationwide in their countries. People living with HIV must be screened regularly for TB. Those who are sick with TB need effective TB treatment, and those without TB disease should receive preventive therapy with the drug isoniazid. And simple measures to prevent the spread of TB among HIV-infected people, especially in health care settings, need urgently to be put in place.

Just three weeks ago, the Board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as an outcome of its Eighteenth Board Meeting, agreed on a decision point (DP12) [.pdf] aimed at massive scale-up of the actions needed to fully implement the Stop TB Strategy and the Global Plan to Stop TB. The Board considered this decision point following a call from the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board that it make a bold statement on scaling up TB control.

The Decision Point, among other sturdy measures on TB, specifies that all applicants for Global Fund grants will henceforth be required to include robust tuberculosis interventions in their HIV/AIDS proposals and HIV/AIDS interventions in their tuberculosis proposals. The Board has requested the Secretariat to review the guidelines for Phase 2 requests to require that, with respect to continued funding for tuberculosis or HIV grants, Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) explain their plans for scale up to universal TB-HIV collaborative services and explicitly articulate what TB-HIV activities, funding, and indicators will be included in each proposal.

Around the world today people are marking World AIDS Day. We hope, that alongside their red ribbons, many people will wear the red stop sign--which now, universally, signifies a commitment to stopping TB.

Film star Laila Eloui joins to the fight against TB in the Eastern Mediterranean

1 December 2008 - Cairo -- Film star Laila Eloui urged journalists to cover tuberculosis and screen and television writers to make it a theme of their productions at a press today on the occasion of the Second Meeting of the Coordinating Board of the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership to Stop TB [.pdf]. "Their role is of utmost importance," she said, to spread awareness about TB’s prevention and treatment. Ms Eloui also pledged to visit other countries in the Region to engage with fellow artists and other stakeholders.

The Board agreed at their meeting to reach out to national authorities for establishment of national Stop TB Partnerships; and that the secretariat will organize harmonized World TB Day activities for 22 countries in the region. At the press conference the Board issued a call for action to governments, donors, civil society and media to step up efforts on TB control and take measures to avoid MDR-TB.

Winner of the Images to Stop Tuberculosis Award announced at the Angkor Photography Festival

26 November 2008 - Siem Reap, Cambodia - The photojournalist Jean Chung of the Republic of Korea, best known for her moving photographs of people’s struggles in war-torn Afghanistan, is the winner of the Stop TB Partnership’s 2008 Images to Stop Tuberculosis Award. Internationally renowned photographer Gary Knight, co-founder of VII Photo Agency and founder of the Angkor Photo Festival, presented the award during a ceremony at the festival today.

The award, which is supported by the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, is intended to obtain outstanding photos depicting tuberculosis prevention and treatment and community activity to raise awareness about it. The Angkor Photography Festival and COLORS magazine also provide support for the award.

Ms Chung, whose portfolio was selected by an international jury from among 54 entries, will receive a grant of $5000 to produce a photo essay on tuberculosis in one or more of the 22 countries* most heavily affected by the disease. She will also be awarded $5000 in prize money.

Stop TB Partnership Japan appoints a national Stop TB Ambassador

21 November 2008 -- Tokyo, Japan -- Beat Takeshi, one of Japan’s best-known comedians, has been appointed as a Stop TB Ambassador by the Stop TB Partnership Japan. Takeshi is one of the most famous comedians in Japan and also a distinguished filmmaker, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet, painter, and one-time video game designer who has received critical acclaim, both in his native country and abroad.

As a film-maker, working under the name Takeshi Kitano, he has won a number of important prizes including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Since 2005, he has been a professor at the Graduate School of Visual Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Kitano owns his own film company, Office Kitano, which launched Tokyo Filmex in 2000. He hosts a weekly television program called Beat Takeshi's TV Tackle, on which entertainers and politicians discuss controversial current events.

Recipients of the 2008 Challenge Facility for Civil Society have been selected

20 November 2008 - An independent review committee* has selected 23 civil society organizations**as grant recipients of the 2008 Challenge Facility for Civil Society(CFCS). The committee made its selections after three days of deliberation and careful consideration of all valid proposals received in timely fashion (by the deadline of 22 August 2008). Grant agreements for winning proposals will now be prepared and sent to winners.

The CFCS targets grass-roots civil society organizations that seek to help shape policy at local and national levels by giving a voice to people living with TB and those involved in its prevention, treatment and care. Their activities are expected to result in enhanced resources for TB control and improved access to TB and other health services, in particular by the most vulnerable members of society.

*Membership of the Independent Review Committee
  • Lucy Chesire, Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium
  • Haileyesus Getahun, WHO Stop TB Department
  • Lasha Goguadze, International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies
  • Naguiba Loutfy, Regional Stop TB Partnership, Eastern Mediterranean Region
  • Mick Matthews, The Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Alasdair Reid, UNAIDS
  • Javid Syed, Treatment Action Group (TAG)
**2008 grant recipients recommended by the Independent Review Committee
  • Association of Religious Leaders Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Nigeria
  • Beijing Aizhixing Institute, China
  • BEMFAM-Bem- Estar Familiar no Brasil, Brazil
  • Coalition of People Fighting HIV/AIDS In MIGORI (COPFAM ), Kenya
  • Ethiopian Treatment Access Movement ( ETAM-Ethiopia), Ethiopia
  • Family- In-Need Trust, Zimbabwe
  • FESAR- Ecuadorian Foundation for Respiratory Health, Ecuador
  • Grassroots Health and Rural Organization for Nutrition Initiative (GHARONI), Bangladesh
  • Hope for HIV/AIDS Life Supports International, Nigeria
  • Horizons Femmes, Cameroon
  • Integrated Development In Focus, Ghana
  • Kamuli Young Positives, Uganda
  • Mamta Samajik Sanstha, India
  • Mandahya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association, India
  • Manipur Voluntary Health Association, India
  • Maryknoll Seedling of Hope, Cambodia
  • Network of Zambian Poeple Living with HIV/AIDS Lusaka District Chapter (NZP+), Zambia
  • Positive Youth Initiative Nigeria ( PYIN), Nigeria
  • Sinza Youth Peer Educators, Tanzania
  • Target Tuberculosis, India
  • Uganda Young Positives, Uganda
  • Welfare Foundation, Georgia
  • Yayasan Kesehatan (Yakeba), Indonesia
Lilly and International Council of Nurses win partnership award from US business group

20 November 2008 - Washington, DC - Eli Lilly and Company and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) were awarded a Corporate Citizenship Award at The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center’s 9th annual dinner and celebration on Tuesday.

The award recognizes their groundbreaking work in combating the rising global threat of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) worldwide. Thousands of online voters cast their ballots during a one-month selection process.

Through its partnership with Lilly, ICN offers training and education programs that are supplemented by global teaching resources, E-tools, and an annual awards program that honors nursing excellence in each of the high-burden TB countries.

Indigenous leaders call for action to reduce illness and death from tuberculosis

November 13, 2008 - Toronto, Canada - Between 2002 and 2006, the First Nations tuberculosis rate (on and off reserve) was 29 times higher than among the non-aboriginal population born in Canada. For the Inuit, it was 90 times higher. Pacific Islanders and Maoris are at least 10 times more likely to contract tuberculosis (TB) than other people living in New Zealand. The Indigenous people of Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) are 45 times more likely to get active tuberculosis than Danish-born residents.

Across the globe Indigenous peoples are at exceptionally high risk of becoming ill with tuberculosis and dying from the disease. Today, for the first time, public health experts and Indigenous leaders from 60 countries began to carve out a plan to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis among Indigenous peoples by 2015, at a meeting co-hosted by the Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

"Indigenous peoples are at special risk of TB because of the conditions under which many live " in poor housing and with lack of access to health services. They also face cultural barriers and language differences that limit their access to TB prevention and treatment," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "Without reaching these disadvantaged groups, we will not attain the targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB."

"Many of the factors that allow tuberculosis to persist among Indigenous peoples around the world are similar to the challenges First Nations face in Canada. For example, one in five First Nations adults cannot access a doctor or nurse. Clearly, we need to improve access to healthcare," said National Chief Phil Fontaine. "However, lasting solutions must also address the social determinants of health such as housing and nutrition. In turn, employment opportunities and wealth are created which are key to creating healthy people and sustainable communities."

"The fact that the tuberculosis rates in Inuit communities are 90 times higher than for all Canadians is unacceptable. A lack of adequate housing, and overcrowding are contributing to this rate, and until we have addressed these and other determinants of health, the situation will not improve. We have a tragic history when it comes to tuberculosis, and unfortunately for many Inuit communities, it continues to be today’s reality," said national Inuit leader Mary Simon.

There were more than 9 million new cases of tuberculosis worldwide in 2006, and some 1.7 million people around the world died from the disease—even though it is curable and the drugs needed to treat it are inexpensive and widely available. The vast majority of tuberculosis cases and deaths occur in low and medium-income countries and among disadvantaged people.

There are 370 million Indigenous people worldwide living in more than 70 countries. There are no firm global estimates for tuberculosis incidence in these populations, but evidence from targeted studies, such as among the Maori of New Zealand and aboriginal peoples in Canada, strongly suggest a high rate of tuberculosis among Indigenous groups living under similar conditions.

The meeting today was the follow-up to a session at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in April, which called for the development of a specific Indigenous-led initiative on TB to collaborate with the Stop TB Partnership.

Global Fund Board calls for massive scale up of TB control

8 November 2008 - New Delhi, India -- The Board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as an outcome of its Eighteenth Board Meeting, agreed today on a decision point (DP12) [.pdf] aimed at massive scale-up of the actions needed to fully implement the Stop TB Strategy and the Global Plan to Stop TB. The Board considered this decision point following a call from the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board that it make a bold statement on scaling up TB control.

The Stop TB Partnership led the session on the decision point, with participation by Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership; Irene Koek, Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board; Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Stop TB Department; TB advocate Ms Lucy Chesire; and Dr Rajendra Shukla, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health, India. Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, made closing remarks [.pdf] at the session.

"At a time when we are facing ever greater threats that recent progress on TB could be reversed, the Global Fund Board has made a strong and compelling statement about the need for prompt and dedicated action," Dr Espinal said.

The main elements of the decision point are as follows:

  • The Board acknowledges and commends the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015 and voices its commitment to ensuring that it is a key partner in supporting its implementation.
  • Recognizing that almost 40% of TB cases worldwide are not detected/diagnosed, the Board encourages applicants to the Global Fund and implementers of tuberculosis programmes to develop innovative actions to accelerate case detection and effective treatment. This will require investment to increase the speed and precision of tuberculosis diagnosis; strengthen in-country monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and surveillance systems; and increase community based responses. The Board specifically urges use of dual track financing and other mechanisms to expand funded, well-trained community-based TB services.
  • All applicants for Global Fund grants should now include robust tuberculosis interventions in their HIV/AIDS proposals and HIV/AIDS interventions in their tuberculosis proposals. The Board has requested the Secretariat to review the guidelines for Phase 2 requests to require that, with respect to continued funding for tuberculosis or HIV grants, Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) explain their plans for scale up to universal TB-HIV collaborative services and explicitly articulate what TB-HIV activities, funding, and indicators will be included in each proposal.
  • Noting the upcoming Ministerial meeting on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in Beijing, the Board urges bold proposals be submitted to support MDR-TB and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) plans and that countries make use of budget and planning flexibilities to ensure programs utilize emerging technologies. A successful response must include a major scale up of drug susceptibility testing for all people suspected of having drug-resistant tuberculosis and effective treatment of these cases. The Board urges applicants to massively scale up laboratory capacity and community-based management of MDR-TB and XDR-TB cases. Applicants should demonstrate that they have sufficient capacity in these areas or show their plans for building it.
  • Recognizing that the Global Plan to Stop TB estimates that US$ 5.3 billion will be required in 2009, but only US$2.7 billion are available, the Board urges countries to analyze their individual gaps and submit ambitious proposals aimed at achieving major and rapid expansion of case detection with high cure rates, universal coverage of TB-HIV collaborative services and scale-up of laboratory and care capacities to expand DOTS; and at addressing MDR- and XDR-TB and strengthening M&E and surveillance systems. The Board also urges CCMs and Principal Recipients to take advantage of the flexibility offered in Global Fund financing and, if appropriate, to consider revising budgets for existing and new grants and for Phase 2 requests.

Read the decision point (DP12) [.pdf]

UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB addresses the Global Fund Board

8 November 2008 - New Delhi, India - Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, made the closing remarks at a special session on tuberculosis at the Eighteenth Meeting of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today.

Noting the challenges posed by the current economic situation, Dr Sampaio urged the Board to fund tuberculosis control as one means to turn the crisis around. "In these hard times of financial crisis, it is rather suspicious to talk about investment. But nevertheless, the return on TB investment is high and it is good value for money," he said, referring to a World Bank study released last year that showed that countries can earn more than they spend on TB control if they fully implement the Global Plan to Stop TB.

Dr Sampaio further stressed the strong connection between TB and poverty. "Global health is one of the rare fields where spectacular progress has been achieved during the 20th century. But good health is still unequally distributed. Moving into the 21st century, we need to recognize that half of the world's population has been left behind, carrying a vast burden of preventable diseases."

In closing his talk, Dr Sampaio noted that he had been speaking for eight minutes. "This means that since I started, 24 people have died of TB. Imagine how costly inaction is in terms of human lives! Most of these individuals are part of the bottom billion people who are living and dying in fourteenth-century conditions. Saving these lives is our real challenge. We can, we have to do better."

The Board agreed on a decision point (DP12) [.pdf] aimed at massive scale-up of the actions needed to fully implement the Stop TB Strategy and the Global Plan to Stop TB.

Read the Special Envoy's speech [.pdf]

Luis Figo comic book on display in Lisbon metro stations

3 November 2008 - The Luis Figo Foundation today launched an exhibit of the comic book Luís Figo e a Taça Mundial contra a Tuberculose in Lisbon’s underground. This is the Portuguese-language version of the Stop TB Partnership’s comic book that features Figo as the main character and seeks to teach children and teens about TB and how to prevent it.

The schedule of exhibits is as follows:

3-13 November: Marquês de Pombal

13-21 November : Cais do Sodré

21 November to 2 December: Jardim Zoológico

2-11 December: Alameda

11-22 December: Baixa-Chiado

22-31 December: Entrecampos

President of Zanzibar opens Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board Meeting

October 2008 - Bagamoyo, United Republic of Tanzania - His Excellency Dr Amani Abeid Karume, President of Zanzibar, congratulated all Stop Partners for their efforts and voiced the commitment of the United Republic of Tanzania to addressing the burden of TB at the opening ceremony of the Stop TB Coordinating Board yesterday. "Our Governments are committed to continuously support the Stop TB initiative in the country by allocating more resources to TB control. At the same time we try to widen cooperation with the civil society and the private sector to increase their participation in this struggle against TB," he said.

The Board, who were welcomed to Bagamoyo with a performance of traditional Tanzanian dance, heard from a panel chaired by the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania, the Honourable Prof David Mwakyusa (a Stop TB Coordinating Board member), about the TB situation in Tanzania.

The Board endorsed plans for the March 2009 Partners Forum; the aims of the meeting on MDR-TB that will take place in April in Beijing; and a strategy to move towards more consistent quality assurance of second-line drugs. The Board also congratulated UNITAID for its achievements in innovative funding for TB control and endorsed the strategy of the Global Laboratory Initiative. As a follow-up to a round table discussion on TB/HIV the Board also called for urgent research on IPT to develop clear guidance on its implementation.

The day before the opening of the Coordinating Board meeting was marked by the launch of the Luis Figo Comic Book in a Swahili-language version at a press conference attended by the Honourable Prof Mwakyusa, Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, Dr Winne M'Panju, representative of the Assistant Director-General of WHO and Dr Egwaga. The launch was followed by a Tanzania Stakeholders meeting - "How are you Stopping TB" - which generated a lively discussion by a variety of partners on how to harmonize their activities to scale up TB control.

Stop TB Partnership and Kochon Foundation announce recipients of 2008 award for distinguished achievements on combating tuberculosis

17 October 2008 - Paris, France - Dr Jaime Bayona of Socios En Salud Sucursal Peru (SES) and Prof Denis Mitchison 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 Palais des Congrès in Paris today.

Dr Jaime Bayona is the Founding Director of SES, a Lima-based organization that has had an important impact on policies for prevention and treatment of drug-resistant TB and HIV and provided training and technical assistance around the world. Dr Bavona is a leader in international health and social medicine, an authority on programmatic approaches to the control of multidrug-resistant TB and a long-time advocate for community-based primary care.

Prof Denis Mitchison has had a distinguished career in TB research. In 1947 he engaged in pioneering studies on streptomycin at Brompton Hospital as one of three people on the original bacteriological committee. In 1956 he was appointed director of the Medical Research Council Unit for Research on Drug Sensitivity in Tuberculosis at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Hammersmith (now Imperial College). In that role he was responsible for the design of groundbreaking randomized trials in Madras, India comparing inpatient and outpatient treatment of TB – the first major studies of home care. In 1985 Dr Mitchison retired from his position but has continued an active career in TB research.

Kaisernetwork to webcast the Union conference and satellites

9 October 2008 -- Kaisernetwork.org, the official webcaster of the 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health, is working together with The Union to provide free online access to the World Conference on Lung Health. Daily online coverage will include webcasts, podcasts and transcripts of all plenary sessions and selected other sessions and interviews with newsmakers to provide analysis of current issues in the fight against TB.

Groundbreaking research findings for vaccine development licensed to Aeras

8 October 2008 - Aberystwyth, United Kingdom -- Researchers at Aberystwyth University have licensed ground-breaking research to the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation to develop new, more effective TB vaccines. The research concerns discovery of a protein that is able to ‘wake up’ dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This protein holds the potential to form the basis for a vaccine that either stops infecting TB bacteria from taking hold or deliberately ‘waking up’ dormant bacteria in a controlled way so they can be destroyed with antibiotics.

TED launches major awareness raising campaign on XDR-TB

3 October 2008 -- A major campaign to raise awareness about XDR-TB was launched today by TED. Photographs depicting XDR-TB taken by James Nachtwey, winner of the 2007 TED Prize, will be viewed in giant screenings in 50 cities around the globe, and across the web, through a multimedia campaign. The launch of the campaign was marked by a special screening at Lincoln Center in New York City and a symposium introduced by Paul Simon and featuring Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership; Google’s Dr Larry Brilliant; the Global Fund’s Rajat Gupta; TB/HIV advocate Winstone Zulu; and Joanne Carter from Results. This week, Time Magazine is featuring an eight-page spread about XDR-TB with Nachtweys photographs.

UN Special Envoy to speak at annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative

22 September 2008 - New York - The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, Dr Jorge Sampaio, will be a speaker at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative this week. Following up on the Call for Action, issued at the HIV/TB Global Leaders' Forum at the United Nations in June, Dr Sampaio will urge participants to intensify their commitment to collaborative action on HIV + TB, in particular preventing and treating TB among people living with HIV. The meeting brings together a diverse group of leaders from government, business, and civil society to examine pressing global challenges and transform that awareness into action.

The Clinton Initiative meeting coincides with other global health events taking place in New York this week, notably the High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals at UN Headquarters, where the UN Secretary-General is expected to ask world leaders to announce their specific plans and proposals for reaching the 2015 Goals.

British scientists find the ancient remains of an early TB victim

16 September - York, England -- Archaeologists at the University of York have discovered the remains of a man who apparently died of tuberculosis of the spine and pelvis during the fourth century. The skeleton was discovered in a shallow grave close to the perimeter of the remains of a late-Roman masonry building on the university’s campus. The man, aged 26-35 is thought to be of one of Britain’s earliest victims of tuberculosis.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donate US$2 million for TB/HIV care in Ethiopia

13 September 2008 - Boston -- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated US$2 million to the Global Health Committee through the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The funds will be used to create a centre for children affected by HIV and tuberculous and help establish a programme to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis in children and adults in Addis Ababa. Pitt and Jolie adopted a daughter in Ethiopia in 2005.

"Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease," Jolie said in a statement released to Access Hollywood, a syndicated television programme.

"The fact that poor people continue to die in our world today of TB, a curable disease, because of lack of access to drugs and care is unacceptable," said Pitt in the statement.

KNCV Executive Director will move to academia

12 September 2008 - Amsterdam -- Martien Borgdorff will step down from his position as Executive Director of the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation at the end of the year to become Chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam. He will continue to be involved in KNCV’s tuberculosis research. Dr Borgdorff joined KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation in 1996 as a Senior Epidemiologist and Head of the Research Unit; he was appointed Executive Director in 2005. KNCV will announce a successor before 1 January.

Participants in High Level Forum commit to aid reform

4 September 2008 -- Accra, Ghana, - The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, hosted by the Government of Ghana and organized by OECD and the World Bank, concluded today with the endorsement of the Accra Agenda for Action [.pdf]. In the document, representatives of developing and donor countries, emerging economies, UN and multilateral institutions, global funds and civil society agreed to take bold steps to reform the way aid is given and spent. Key points include:

  • Predictability - donors will provide 3-5 year forward information on their planned aid to partner countries.
  • Country systems - partner country systems will be used to deliver aid as the first option, rather than donor systems.
  • Conditionality - donors will switch from reliance on prescriptive conditions about how and when aid money is spent to conditions based on the developing country’s own development objectives.
  • Untying - donors will relax restrictions that prevent developing countries from buying the goods and services they need from whomever and wherever they can get the best quality at the lowest price.
Board of the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership to Stop TB meets in Cairo

27 August 2008 - Cairo -- The Coordinating Board of the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership to Stop TB concluded a one-day meeting today. The Board, which is chaired by Dr Awad Tag El Din, agreed to expand collaboration with Rotary International in Lebanon, Jordon and other Rotary Districts in the Region. The Partnership also will focus on multidrug-resistant-TB in Yemen and on a regional media campaign on TB, to include a media award. The next Board meeting will take place in November in Cairo in conjunction with the National TB Managers’ meeting.

Stop TB Partnership launches photo competition

20 August 2008 - Geneva - The Stop TB Partnership today launched Images to Stop TB, a competition aimed at obtaining outstanding photos depicting prevention and treatment of TB and community activity to raise awareness about it. Photographers are invited to submit their work for consideration. An international jury will select the winning photographer who will receive a grant to produce these photos, which will be exhibited at the Partners’ Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March 2009.

The Stop TB Partnership welcomes authorization by the United States government for increased TB spending

31 July 2008, Geneva - The Stop TB Partnership congratulates President George W. Bush and leaders in Congress for their approval of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, legislation which authorizes an unprecedented $48 billion in spending over the next five years to help treat and prevent AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The new bill, singed into law by President Bush on Wednesday, authorizes US$4 billion for tuberculosis, US$5 billion for malaria and US$39 billion for AIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and additional support for health care workers and health systems strengthening. "This funding will help prevent millions of deaths from TB, HIV and HIV/TB co-infection. We are grateful to the United States' government for its leadership and to the American people for their generosity and hope this measure will spur other nations to take more action," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.

Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility, UNITAID, WHO and FIND launch initiative to accelerate MDR-TB control

30 June 2008 -- People in low-resource countries who are ill with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) will get a faster diagnosis -- in two days, not the standard two to three months -- and appropriate treatment thanks to two new initiatives unveiled today by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Stop TB Partnership, UNITAID and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). At present it is estimated that only 2% of MDR-TB cases worldwide are being diagnosed and treated appropriately, mainly because of inadequate laboratory services. The initiatives announced today should increase that proportion at least seven-fold over the next four years, to 15% or more.

"I am delighted that this initiative will improve both the technology needed to diagnose TB quickly, and increase the availability of drugs to treat highly resistant TB," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who helped launch the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB in 2006 and whose government is a founding member of UNITAID. "The UK is committed to stopping TB around the world, from our funding of TB prevention programmes in poor countries, to our support of cutting edge research to develop new drugs."

The initiatives will provide new equipment and training, and in some cases new labs, to 16 countries; and MDR-TB treatment to 54 countries.

Press release

WHO's winning badminton team does its bit to stop TB

5 Jun - 2008 -- Geneva - Racing against odds such as a cancelled flight and an overnight 1000-kilometre drive through France, WHO's sportsmen and women grabbed the gold medal for badminton at this year's UN Inter-Agency Games in Biarritz on 5 June. And this winning team announced their committment to the global fight against tuberculosis by sporting "I am stopping TB" T-shirts during the game. The games, created in 1968, pit athletes from 10 UN agencies against each other in 14 sports ranging from athletics and tennis to pétanque and bridge. This year 25 of the 900 participants at the games were from WHO.

New toolkit aims to boost South African companies' involvement in TB control

3 June 2008 -- Geneva -- The Global Health Initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership have launched a new toolkit that aims to boost the involvement of South African companies in tackling the tuberculosis (TB) crisis. The toolkit comes as a response to an emerging threat of TB/HIV co-infections and drug-resistant strains of the disease in South Africa and will provide concrete guidelines to help companies rapidly increase their TB control programmes by adopting a joint approach to tackling TB and HIV and catalysing effective public-private partnerships to facilitate successful patient and programme management.

Link to Press release [.pdf]

Link to toolkit

World Medical Association to offer on-line training on MDR-TB with support from Eli Lilly and Company

14 May -- Geneva -- The World Medical Association and Eli Lilly and Company have announced that they will intensify their collaboration on fighting drug-resistant TB. Lilly has provided the association with a a grant of $998,773 to provide physicians with interactive online training on MDR-TB. The purpose of this online training is to help physicians use the latest international guidelines and treatment protocols for MDR-TB care in their daily work. A new toolkit will also be developed for physicians on how to manage TB in the workplace. This will be produced with the World Economic Forum for use in China and South Africa.

The Stop TB Partnership's Executive Secretary is honoured by the University of California Berkeley

13 May 2008 -- Berkeley, California - Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, today received the 2007 Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award from the University of California, Berkeley. The award, conferred on Dr Espinal during Berkeley's commencement ceremony, honours an alumnus who is a native, citizen, and resident of a nation other than the United States of America, and who has a distinguished record of service to his or her country. It is one of the most prestigious honours conferred by the Berkeley campus. Dr Espinal completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in public health at Berkeley.

First Lady of Egypt addresses the 14th Stop TB Coordinating Board

6 May 2008 -- Cairo -- The first lady of Egypt, Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, was a speaker at the opening ceremony of the 14th Stop TB Coordinating Board Meeting, which coincided with the launch of a Regional Stop TB Partnership for the Eastern Mediterranean. In her remarks, Mrs Mubarak welcomed the initiative, which she said promised to be extremely beneficial. "I call on all people of influence and countries of the world to embrace a 'Culture of Giving' for such a noble cause - for it requires our full support and commitment," she said. In her remarks, Irene Koek, Chair of the Board, noted that this is the first Coordinating Board held in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and thanked Stop TB partners for their work in Egypt and the region. "The Stop TB Partnership is strongly committed to working together with Egypt and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to strengthen the fight against TB," she said. In the evening, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean hosted a gala to celebrate WHO's 60th anniversary and the launch of the new regional Stop TB Partnership.

Press release on the launch of the Regional Partnership

UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board focuses on TB

25 April 2008 Chiang Mai, Thailand - As a follow-up to a thematic session focusing on TB/HIV, the UNAIDS Coordinating Board today declared TB an urgent threat and called on member states to deliver integrated TB and HIV services that provide adequate TB infection control in HIV care settings. The Board also called on the international community, including governments, to address the resource gap for the prevention and treatment of TB in people living with HIV through its inclusion in the broader development agenda.

Read the decisions, recommendations and conclusions [.pdf]

Stop TB Ambassador Anna Cataldi makes high-level visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan

10 April 2008 -- Islamabad -- Stop TB Ambassador Anna Cataldi today concluded a twelve-day visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the aim of spurring greater commitment to TB control in both countries. In Kabul Ms Cataldi presided over a consultative workshop, Voicing for the Unheard-Women & TB. The workshop, an initiative of the Ministry of Public Health and WHO Afghanistan, focused on the high proportion of women among people with TB in the country. In the concluding session Ms Cataldi called for greater support by national and international partners for confronting TB in Afghanistan.

Partners Mark World TB Day

Street events, lectures and rallies were among the many events held all over the world on or around World TB Day 2008. And the slogan for the 2008-2009 campaign "I am stopping TB" was on display everywhere on banners and posters tailored to local tastes and concerns. A selection of photos submitted by Stop TB partners is now available in a photo gallery. Information about events, posters and other materials will be posted on the World TB Day website.

World TB Day Statement from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

World TB Day is an occasion to urge action to stop tuberculosis, a disease which still kills an appalling 4,000 people every day. The man-made multi-drug resistant strain and its even more lethal form, extensively drug-resistant TB, are both spreading. If we are to prevent a virtually untreatable tuberculosis epidemic, we must tackle the roots of the problem: poor services, poor supplies, poor prescribing and poor use of drugs. That is why the theme of this year’s Day is "I am Stopping TB". This is a fight that can be won only with the collective commitment of millions of individuals – donors and researchers, doctors and health care workers, patients and family members.

Statement for World TB Day by Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership

World TB Day is a time for reflection and to recognize that we need patience and forbearance. TB cannot be conquered quickly--it is a long journey we have undertaken. I know our partners have the endurance to continue. I am grateful to all countries' National TB Programme Managers (NTPs) and to the Stop TB Partners for their hard work on getting TB diagnosis and treatment to ever-expanding numbers of people who need them. We know you will keep working towards detection of even more cases, in part by expanding successful advocacy, communication and social mobilization activities.

TB experts mark World TB Day at various events in New York

The New York Stock Exchange highlighted World TB Day on 24 March by inviting Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, and Stop TB Partners Edward J. Ludwig, Chairman, President and CEO of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), and Dr Giorgio Roscigno, CEO of FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics) to ring the closing bell. Earlier on the same day, Dr Sampaio, along with senior representatives from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Council, FIND, and BD participated in a roundtable discussion at Columbia University under the theme of "TB Today: Old Enemy, New Hurdles". About 100 people attended the event, which was moderated by John Rennie, of the Scientific American. Mr Rennie summarized the event by describing the TB movement with two words: urgency and dignity. All of the panelists agreed that 2008 is the year to step up advocacy efforts around implementation of the Global Plan to Stop TB.

Click here for footage of the NYSE closing bell

Click here for full webcast of the roundtable discussion

WHO annual report, Global Tuberculosis Control 2008, finds progress in TB diagnosis is slowing

17 March 2008 -- Geneva -- The pace of the progress in controlling the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic slowed slightly in 2006, says the Global tuberculosis control 2008. The new data released today show a slowdown in the progress on diagnosing people with TB in 2006 compared to the previous five years. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, Global Fund Executive Director Professor Michel Kazatchkine and WHO Stop TB Department Director Dr Mario Raviglione participated in a press conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, where the report was launched.

News release on the TB report

Report on the business response to TB launched in London

11 March 2008 -- London -- The Global Health Initiative (GHI) of the World Economic Forum has launched a report entitled "Tackling Tuberculosis: The Business Response" which provides an overview of the threat posed by tuberculosis to the private sector and makes recommendations for the private sector in the global context.

The report is based on an analysis of responses to questions on TB in the World Economic Forum’s annual Executive Opinion Survey (EOS). The EOS forms part of the Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report, which is intended to assist business leaders and policy-makers in understanding the drivers of, and impediments to, competitiveness in their countries.

"This report makes a persuasive case for why businesses can gain economically by assessing the risk of TB in their communities, protecting their employees from the disease and ensuring that all employees in whom TB is detected receive prompt and appropriate treatment," said Dr Maros Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "The report offers an additional and no less compelling rationale for businesses to engage in the fight against TB: doing their part as good citizens. At a time when businesses--from family-run manufacturers to multinational corporations--are acknowledging their social responsibilities, engaging in the fight against TB represents a sound investment in society and its future."

The Global Health Initiative (GHI) was launched by Kofi Annan at the Annual Meeting 2002 in Davos. The GHI’s mission is to engage businesses in public-private partnerships to tackle HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Health Systems.

WHO Stop TB Department reports highest rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis to date

26 February 2008 - Washington DC /Geneva - Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been recorded at the highest rates ever, according to a new report that presents findings from the largest survey to date on the scale of drug resistance in tuberculosis. The WHO Stop TB Department report, Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance in the World, is based on information collected between 2002 and 2006 on 90 000 TB patients in 81 countries. It also found that extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), a virtually untreatable form of the respiratory disease, has been recorded in 45 countries. The report also found a link between HIV infection and MDR-TB. Surveys in Latvia and Donetsk, Ukraine found nearly twice the level of MDR-TB among TB patients living with HIV compared with TB patients without HIV. Based on analysis of the survey data, WHO estimates there are nearly half a million new cases of MDR-TB--about 5% of the total nine million new TB cases--worldwide each year.

Press release

Stop TB Partnership's Executive Secretary visits TB vaccine trial site in South Africa

4 February 2008 - Cape Town/Worcester, South Africa -- Dr. Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, toured the primary field site and laboratory facilities of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) of the University of Cape Town (UCT) today, meeting with researchers and clinical trial volunteers. Hosted by SATVI Director Professor Gregory Hussey, Dr Espinal was accompanied by Dr. Jerald C. Sadoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, a non-profit developer of TB vaccines based in the United States. SATVI is working in partnership with Aeras to conduct clinical trials of new vaccines for tuberculosis at the SATVI TB vaccine research site in Worcester, South Africa, the most advanced tuberculosis vaccine study site in the world. "The work being conducted by SATVI to develop a new vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) is a model for researchers globally," Dr. Espinal said . "Finding a new TB vaccine is critical to ending the tuberculosis pandemic in South Africa and around the world."

Stop TB Partnership welcomes announcement of increased US funding for global TB control

7 January 2008 -- Geneva -- During the last week of December, President George W. Bush approved US$153 million in spending for global TB control programmes for 2008--up US$72 million from 2007 spending. An additional $150 million is dedicated by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to address the TB-HIV co-epidemic in 2008. Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, applauded this effort. "The U.S. should be commended for its leadership and wise investment in the global fight against TB," he said. "As a recent World Bank study concluded, the economic benefits of TB control are substantially greater than the costs. I would like to thank our partners and advocates in the U.S. Congress for their dedication and persistence. This funding increase will contribute to the implementation of the Global Plan to Stop TB; with direct benefits to men, women and children affected by TB across the globe."