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G8 Leaders Commend Achievements on TB and TB/HIV and Call for more Commitment

Judith Mandelbaum–Schmid, Stop TB Partnership
In their joint declaration issued this week: Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future (to download see the link below), the leaders of the G8 Summit pledged to implement further efforts towards universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010, with particular focus on prevention and integration of services for HIV/TB. “We will combine this with actions to: combat TB and Malaria. In this regard, we stress the importance of addressing gender inequality,” they wrote.

In a separate Experts’ Report, “Promoting Global Health” the leaders noted that where there have been substantial investments and good performances, impressive results have been achieved. This is especially evident in the dramatic increase in coverage on several disease fronts, notably tuberculosis, HIV, child immunization, polio and malaria, they stressed. “Despite these major advances, the job is far from done. Sustained political leadership and commitment are needed,” they wrote.

The report calls specifically for strengthening of basic TB control, management of MDR/XDR TB, integrated HIV–TB care and increased availability of labs and diagnostics. And it reaffirms the G8 Commitment to halting the spread of TB. “We will also support the Global Plan to Stop TB, 2006–2015, which aims to cut TB deaths in half by the year 2015 compared to 1990 levels, saving some 14 million lives over ten years, and call upon all donors and stakeholders to contribute to its effective implementation,” they wrote.

“We commend the G8 leaders for their recognition of recent achievements in TB and HIV/TB control – and also for their call for scale–up of prevention and treatment and stronger political leadership,” said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.

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