UN Special Envoy calls on G8 leaders to prioritize tuberculosis
The newly-appointed UN Special Envoy to Stop TB, Dr Jorge Sampaio has called on world leaders attending the Russian G8 summit to position tuberculosis (TB) high on their agenda and respond with actions to strengthen TB control around the world:
"This Summit represents a most unique opportunity to call on all G8 countries to fund and implement the Global Plan to Stop TB," said Dr Sampaio. "Moved by strong political will, the G8 can lead and smooth over every funding obstacle that stands in the way to achieving universal access to high-quality diagnosis and treatment for TB patients, wherever they live. Actions should follow commitments to prevent millions of avoidable deaths caused, after all, by global negligence."
Dr Sampaio, the former President of Portugal made the call as G8 leaders prepare to arrive in St Petersburg to discuss TB and other infectious diseases, global security and education.
His comments were supported by WHO Stop TB Director, Dr Mario Raviglione: "TB must not be sidelined at this summit. It must be addressed with the priority it deserves. Next week G8 leaders will consider their response to the Global Plan to Stop TB. Half-measures will result in full failure for the poorest people in the world, the very people whose lives are at most risk from TB."
- Stop TB Partnership press release [pdf 206kb]
- UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, signing the Call to Stop TB (video)
Message to G8 leaders from UN Special Envoy to Stop TB
- G8 tuberculosis fact sheet
- UN Special - Interview with Dr Jorge Sampaio, UN Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis
In the weeks following Dr Sampaio's appointment, he held discussions on TB with the UN Secretary-General and high level WHO officials:
Captions, from right to left:
1- WHO Acting Director-General, Dr Anders Nordström, with Dr Jorge Sampaio
2- WHO Dr Luis Sambo, Regional Director for Africa, with Dr Jorge Sampaio
3- WHO Dr Mirta Roses Periago, Regional Director for the Americas, with Dr Jorge Sampaio
4- WHO Dr Hussein Gezairy, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, with Dr Jorge Sampaio
5- WHO Dr Shigeru Omi, Regional Director for the Western Pacific, with Dr Jorge Sampaio
6- WHO Dr Marc Danzon, Regional Director for Europe, with Dr Jorge Sampaio.