Heads of State Pledge Support for a Successful UN High-Level Meeting on TB during Africa Union Summit in Mauritania
Nouakchott, 7 July 2018: H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, are the First Heads of State to Commit to Attending the High-Level Meeting on TB on 26th September.
The Presidents announced their commitment on Sunday at the opening of 31st African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania. President Kagame currently holds the Chair of the Africa Union and hosted a meeting of nearly 20 African Heads of State to discuss the Common Africa Position on the High-Level Meeting (HLM) on TB.
“I’m committed to attending the High-Level Meeting, and call on my fellow Heads of State to also commit to participate in this historic meeting”, said President Ramaphosa. “As Heads of State in the Africa Region, we understand that health deserves a place at the highest political levels. The issue of TB clearly goes beyond the purview of Ministries of Health because of the many political, economic and social determinants of TB, and our ability to help mobilize the resources needed to effectively fight TB.”
President Kagame, highlighting the urgent threat of TB in the region, said “TB is one of the major diseases in Africa and sixteen of thirty designated world’s high TB burden countries are on the continent. It is in this context that the AU member states Experts and Ministers of Health endorsed the Common Africa Position on TB that will be presented during this meeting ahead of the United Nations High Level Meeting on TB in September in New York.”
African Union countries have played a central role in leading the call for increased global cooperation on TB. In August 2016, Ministers of Health from the Africa Region were the first regional group to call for a UN High-Level Meeting on TB. African Leaders endorsed the Common African Position on the UN-High-Level Meeting on TB during the Summit, which outlines the commitments and priorities of AU Heads of State for the UNHLM, including agreement to reach 90% of all people who need TB treatment, including 90% of people in key populations, and achieve at least 90% treatment success, and to intensify investment by AU member states in Isoniazid Preventive Therapy.
“The UN High-Level Meeting on TB is a historic opportunity to ensure TB gets on the agenda of the Heads of States and Governments. The TB community is grateful to President Ramaphosa and President Kagame for their leadership and for making it clear that TB deserves a place at the top of the political agenda. We now look to other Heads of State to follow their example and pledge their commitment to attending the UNHLM in September”, said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
“TB is now the leading public health threat to Africa’s socio-economic transformation agenda. The Common Africa Position provides an historic opportunity for Africa, a continent disproportionately affected by TB, to highlight the key commitments and priority actions needed to end the disease by 2030” said Her Excellency Amira El Fadil Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission.
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About the African Union
The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. www.au.int
About AIDS Watch Africa
Created at the Abuja 2001 Special Summit, AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is an Africa-led instrument to stimulate leaders into action and mobilize the resources needed to address AIDS, TB and Malaria in an effective, sustainable and accountable manner. www.aidswatchafrica.net
Stop TB Partnership
The Stop TB Partnership is leading the way to a world without tuberculosis (TB), a disease that is curable but still kills three people every minute. Founded in 2001, the Partnership's mission is to serve every person who is vulnerable to TB and ensure that high-quality diagnosis, treatment and care is available to all who need it.