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World TB Day: Need to tackle this threat with concerted efforts

New Delhi, Sat, 22 Mar 2014 NI Wire

United Nations: In a bid to check the growing cased of TB in the world, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for increased global solidarity to eradicate the same. He was addressing on the occasion of the World Tuberculosis Day March 24.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said in a statement, "Tuberculosis is the world's second most deadly infectious disease among adults, after HIV/AIDS. Every year, TB kills 1.3 million people and causes nearly nine million to fall ill."

He said it was a "tragedy" that despite being curable, one third of those who have TB - some three million people , do not get the treatment they need.

He further said, "Most are poor. Many are from marginalised populations such as migrant workers, refugees and internally displaced people, prisoners, indigenous people and ethnic minorities," he said. "Progress in recent years has proven that we can tackle this threat with concerted efforts," he added. He said that between 1995 and 2012, global health interventions have saved 22 million lives and successfully treated 56 million people suffering from TB.

"To accelerate results, we need to increase access to health services and mobilise communities, hospitals and private providers to reach more people and treat them faster. We must also invest more in research to find diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines," Ban said.

Calling it a matter of "social justice", Ban said everyone with TB should have access to services they need for rapid diagnosis, treatment and care. "It is also an issue of global health security, given the rapidly emerging problem of patients with deadly, extensively drug-resistant TB going undetected. Even when they are diagnosed, many lack access to effective treatment," he said.

By caring for the three million who do not have the treatment they need, a better future for all humankind will be fostered, he said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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