20 January 2015 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Eric Goosby of the United States as his new Special Envoy on Tuberculosis (TB), the UN Spokesperson’s office announced today.
According to a press release, Dr. Goosby will work towards boosting the profile of the fight against TB and promoting the adoption, financing and implementation of the UN World Health Organization’s (WHO) global End TB Strategy after 2015.
In addition, he will push for the achievement of the Strategy’s “ambitious international targets” for tuberculosis prevention, care and control while also pursuing the TB 2015 targets described in the Millennium Development Goals.
“Dr. Goosby will address these issues by raising the profile of TB in the global, regional and national political and development agendas and by calling for countries with high burden of tuberculosis, as well as donor countries, civil society and the private sector, to promote key actions that contribute to end the tuberculosis epidemic, including resource mobilization for research and development,” the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said.
UN data show that in 2013 an estimated 9 million people developed TB and 1.5 million men, women and children died from the disease which largely affects the poorest and most marginalized communities around the world.
Moreover, the problem of antimicrobial resistance, or drug resistance, poses a great threat to tuberculosis control and remains a major concern for global health security.
As a result, the End TB Strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95 per cent and to cut new cases by 90 per cent between 2015 and 2035.
Through his new appointment, Dr. Goosby will work closely with the WHO in providing support in carrying out what the Spokesperson’s office has described as a “crucial mission for global health.”
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