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UN calls for action to end TB epidemic

world Updated: Mar 25, 2008 12:51 IST
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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for waging a war against root causes of tuberculosis (TB) which kills 4,000 people a day.

In a message on the World TB Day on Wednesday, Ban identified the root causes as poor services, poor supplies, poor prescription and poor use of drugs.

The theme of this year's Day is "I am stopping TB," and it is a pledge "we must uphold as we battle the epidemic throughout the year and into the future," Ban said.

The fight against tuberculosis "can be won only with the collective commitment of millions of individuals donors and researchers, doctors and health-care workers, patients and family members," he said.

As a result of collaboration among a range of partners, the proportion of people falling ill with TB is declining. But the advances are not being made at the same rate as population growth, Ban said, adding, that the disease becomes ever more deadly when it overlaps with the HIV epidemic.

He also urged a stepped up global response to save lives from tuberculosis, noting that the UN will convene a Global Leaders' HIV/TB forum this June.