2007 - the year ahead
During the next 12 months WHO Stop TB will be intensifying its efforts to ensure that the Stop TB Strategy and the Global Plan to Stop TB continue to be fully supported and implemented. Many key activities will be taking place, highlighting the impact that tuberculosis has on the world today, and how WHO Stop TB and its partners are leading the international response
- 2007 began with the appointment of a new WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, who has indicated that strengthening TB control will be one of her priorities, particularly in the context of effective primary health care. Her deputy will be Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, former Assistant Director-General of WHO's HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria section.
- WHO Stop TB will be providing support to the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, Dr Jorge Sampaio, as he undertakes a series of missions in strategic countries and engages with world leaders to ensure that TB control is a priority.
- The 4th Anti-TB Drug Resistance in the World report will be launched in May and will be the largest survey of its kind. For the first time, it will also feature data on XDR-TB. WHO Stop TB will continue to coordinate the global response to XDR-TB including the recommendations outlined by the Global Task Force, especially in countries most affected by drug-resistant TB.
- On the 24 March 2007, World TB Day will be marked and supported by the message that 'TB Anywhere is TB Everywhere', underlined by the theme of Progress. WHO Stop TB will be involved in the organization of several major events to raise awareness on global TB, including events in New York city and other major locations.
- The 11th annual Global TB Control Report will be published by WHO Stop TB for World TB Day and will summarize the achievements that have been made in countries in reaching TB detection and cure targets set for 2005. It will also provide a comprehensive overview of the state of implementation of all the six components of the Stop TB Strategy.
- Among the many areas of activities in 2007, WHO Stop TB Department's TB/HIV team will be working with the TB and HIV communities to strengthen strategic partnerships with global stakeholders, such as the Global Fund, the Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator (which oversees the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and UNAIDS, to catalyse the implementation of collaborative TB/HIV activities in countries.
- Initial preparations are under way for a high level ministerial forum on TB in Europe taking place in October in Berlin. The forum will seek to address the TB emergency threat facing the European region today.
- There will also begin an assessment of the determinants of TB, i.e. the 'causes of causes' which favour the maintenance of the TB epidemic worldwide - even in countries that have reached global targets - with the aim of addressing all factors that influence the epidemic. This work by WHO Stop TB will deliver new approaches that will target how the health sector and other sectors can respond.
- WHO Stop TB will also provide assistance to partners through the TB Technical Assistance Mechanism (TBTEAM), to help countries prepare successful proposals for financial support from the Global Fund, and also assist countries to effectively implement such grants.
- To increase the major deficiencies in early detection of TB, WHO Stop TB will put increasing emphasis on its work with partners in bringing attention to, and supporting, the overall strengthening of laboratory networks, and the quick application of effective new diagnostic techniques as they become available.
Stop TB Department, World Health Organization