The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, has called for joint action between communities and the health system to bring Tuberculosis under control.
Ghebreyesus made the call during a news conference on Tuesday.
The director-general noted that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, universal health coverage and primary health care agendas all recognised community empowerment as vital processes in helping to make TB a policy priority.
To support these efforts, he said the WHO launched the new DG Flagship Initiative to End TB.
He said that nearly 40 per cent of the 10.6 million people with TB were not receiving the healthcare services they needed.
“Efforts to bring TB under control have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“All of this makes working with affected communities and civil society critical to bringing this killer disease under control,” he said.
The WHO boss said that on World TB Day, he launched a Flagship Initiative to End TB.
“Its aim for the next four years is to support the fast-tracking of progress towards ending TB, and advancing research and innovation on new vaccines.
“The WHO Civil Society Task Force on TB has been working to bring the voices of TB-affected communities and civil society to the work of WHO.
“With this in mind, new WHO guidance for community engagement to end TB will be published soon,” he said.