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The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) today welcomed the confirmed attendance of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the inaugural United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting (HLM) On the Fight To End Tuberculosis (TB) taking place this coming Wednesday 26 September at UN headquarters in New York.
“We welcome the leadership shown by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and the more than two dozen other Heads of State who have confirmed their participation at what will be an historic event taking urgently needed steps to end TB, the world´s biggest infectious disease killer,” said Paul Jensen, Director of Strategy and Policy at The Union.
“It is especially encouraging to see leadership from the Africa region, where the rates of TB are the highest in the world”.
“We’re also thrilled that Bill Gates, whose foundation has been a leading investor in TB research and advocacy, will be delivering a keynote speech at the High-Level Meeting that we hope will galvanise private sector innovation and research in TB. TB is at a crossroads and we need better diagnostics, better drugs and a vaccine if we are going to meet any of the targets set to eliminate what is a preventable and curable disease.”
TB is now the biggest infectious killer in the world. Each year TB takes the lives of some 1.6 million people and 10 million people develop TB disease, including some one million children.