HIV/TB features in World TB Day events
30 March 2007
Tuberculosis was declared a national public health emergency in Malawi this week. More than 77% of TB patients in Malawi are also HIV positive and TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.
The UN Special Envoy to Stop TB, Mr. Jorge Sampaio and WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luís Gomes Sambo, attended a ceremony hosted by the Honourable Mrs. Marjorie Ngaunje, Minister of Health, to launch the new five-year plan to
tackle the tuberculosis emergency. The plan seeks to increase access to TB diagnostic and treatment services, improve collaboration between the TB and HIV services and strengthen community involvement.
In Ghana UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO joined civil society representatives, traditional leaders and politicians to launch a National Stop TB Partnership on World TB Day.
Collaboration between the TB and HIV programmes has already been fruitful in Ghana but needs to be increased to reduce the high death toll from HIV/TB co-infection.
UNAIDS HIV/TB Adviser, Dr Alasdair Reid, said: “Increasingly we are realising that we cannot address AIDS without addressing TB and vice versa. The best way to do this is through HIV and TB programme collaboration”