Today, 22 March 2017, The Union expressed strong support for a meeting convened over two days in New Delhi, India, which resulted in all 11 member states of the South-East Asia Region signing a Call for Action to End TB.
The Call for Action represents committed leadership and action at the very highest government level. The declarations include increasing resources and funding for countries, with particular emphasis on the need to fully-fund national tuberculosis (TB) programmes.
The urgent requirement for scaling-up TB responses is also given prominence, with measures including enabling community involvement within healthcare programmes and using innovative communication tools to build better awareness.
“The declaration in New Delhi is an historic moment, representing an enormous level of unprecedented political will within a region that shoulders the world’s heaviest TB burden,” said José Luis Castro, Executive Director, The Union. “Without political momentum, any strategy to end TB will falter. Without accelerated progress, we will not be able to meet the 2030 target of the global End TB Strategy. It is to the credit of all the politicians, supporters and advocates present in New Delhi for showing the necessary commitment to prioritise TB responses in this region before it is too late. They must now follow this declaration up with urgent action in line with their clear commitments.”
He added, “It is appropriate that this declaration should be made just prior to World TB Day on 24 March. The commitments made by the member states have the strongest possible support from The Union, and we will work with stakeholders to put them into action.”
In 2015, the South-east Asia region recorded nearly 800,000 deaths directly caused by TB. An estimated 4.74 million new cases were reported. Six of the region’s countries: Bangladesh, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand – are among the 30 high TB burden countries globally. The 11 states who signed the New Delhi Declaration on 15-16 March are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Read the call for action (PDF 326 KB)