World Health Assembly endorses Resolution on TB progress and long-term planning
All WHO Member States are urged to develop and implement long-term plans for TB prevention and control, in line with the WHO Stop TB Strategy. The actions outlined in the TB resolution are 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 all countries, in particular those heavily affected by multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant TB (MD/XDR-TB), as well as by TB/HIV, especially in the areas of laboratory strengthening and monitoring and surveillance, with Member States urged to expand access to laboratory-based TB diagnosis. Member States are also urged to consider TB as a public health priority and, where appropriate, declare TB as an emergency.
"The unanimous support clearly shown by Member States for the resolution on TB control underlines the commitment we are seeing by governments to seriously address the global TB epidemic, and also the importance of the work of the WHO in helping face the challenges to TB control," said WHO Stop TB Director, Dr Mario Raviglione.
A total of 43 interventions were made by Member States in support of the resolution, including the Minister of Health of Malawi, Ms M E Ngaunje, who attended the Assembly wearing a special 'Stop TB Malawi' dress. She later signed the Stop TB Partnership's "Call to Stop TB", along with her Namibian counterpart, Dr Richard Kamwi, Minister of Health and Social Services.
The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization. It meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from its 193 Member States. The main function of the Health Assembly is to determine the policies of the Organization.