UNAIDS and other health organizations support new TB and HIV initiative in Africa
20 March 2013
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé joined health leaders from Africa and other international organizations to support a new push to accelerate progress against tuberculosis and HIV. The initiative was unveiled at a press briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa on 20 March and will be formerly launched on 21 March in Mbabane, Swaziland.
The initiative includes a package of new investments worth more than US $120 million which will be used to expedite progress against TB and HIV in the next 1000 days. The initiatvie will work with South African Development Community (SADC) countries to achieve the international targets of cutting deaths from TB and HIV-associated TB by half by 2015.
Mr Sidibé and other health leaders will sign the Swaziland Statement in Mbabane at tomorrow’s formal launch of the initiative.
TB and HIV have combined together in the SADC region in a perfect storm and what we need to mobilize is an emergency response to this storm.
We must prioritise action in the hot spots, and one of the hottest of these is TB in the mining industry. The new partnerships that we are witnessing today between government, the corporate sector and global agencies can and must drive our renewed effort in the next 1000 days.
We have the power to stop TB and HIV in their tracks. We must adopt Zero tolerance for parallel systems for TB and HIV. If we don’t close the funding gap and focus on HIV and TB hotspots, sub-Saharan Africa could face a worsening disaster of HIV and drug resistant TB.
We have 1000 days to achieve the international targets of 50% reductions in TB mortality and TB/HIV deaths by 2015. Together, we are building momentum towards ending the TB and TB/HIV co-epidemic in SADC.
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