LONDON, 16 December 2016: RESULTS UK welcomes the United Nations’ announcement that it will convene its first ever High Level Meeting on tuberculosis at the 2018 UN General Assembly.
TB is the world’s leading infectious killer and figures released by the World Health Organisation in October showed that there were 10.4 million new cases in 2015 and 1.8 million deaths, a revision upwards from 1.5 million the previous year.
Despite the increasingly urgent need to combat the epidemic, TB has maintained a low profile on the global political agenda, failing to receive the attention and resources it deserves.
TB has been with us for thousands of years, since at least the time of the Pyramids, and killing over a billion people. Yet of the world’s three most deadly infectious diseases, TB is the only disease never to be included in high-level discussions amongst heads of state or prioritised by the G7 and G20. Today’s announcement could change that.
In response, Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of RESULTS UK, said: “This is a signal to the millions of people living with the disease and the medical professionals working tirelessly to treat them that world leaders haven’t turned their backs."
The UK Government has shown global leadership on infectious disease, pressing the world to prioritise antimicrobial resistance and committing development aid to ending the epidemics through historic commitments to organisations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. However, to combat the world’s leading infectious killer, leaders must work together at a global level.
"We applaud UK leadership to date, and encourage them to work closely with other governments to make the first ever High Level Meeting on TB a landmark moment in our battle to defeat this disease once and for all,” Oxley concluded.
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RESULTS UK is a movement of passionate, committed, everyday people who together use their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. For more information please visit www.results.org.uk