World TB Day 2004
Every Breath Counts - Stop TB Now!
The Stop TB Partnership Secretariat is pleased to announce World TB Day 2004 and the Second Stop TB Partners Forum, which will be held 24-26 March 2004 in New Delhi, India. The event will convene ministerial delegations of the 22 highest tuberculosis burden countries, as well as high-level political invitees from the G-8 countries, and all Stop TB partners. The meeting will highlight progress at country level and the importance of private and civil sector involvement.
We thank Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee for presenting the opening ceremony and the Government of India for hosting the Forum. India has the largest TB burden in the world, but it is also one of the countries making the most rapid progress in expanding DOTS. With the present rate of progress, and if they continue to address the major challenges, India is going to reach the global TB targets by 2005. India is an example for many other countries struggling with TB, and the Forum will highlight the dynamic activities in the country.
The next two years, 2004 - 2005, are going to be very critical for reaching the WHA targets for 2005 (the 'process' targets of 70% case-detection and 85% cure rate). Globally, our current level of achievement is only about 37% in case-detection, and 83% with respect to cure. Meeting the 2005 targets will also be an essential first step towards reaching the 2015 Millennium Development Goals target (the epidemiological 'impact' target, which has been articulated as -- "to have halted and begun to reverse" the incidence of TB).
While much of global and regional TB advocacy to date has been directed, quite successfully, at resource mobilisation and strengthening political and governmental commitment, the time has now come for intensifying advocacy efforts which are specifically directed at engendering greater public commitment and participation in TB control/elimination.
In March 2004 the 2nd Stop TB Partners' Forum in New Delhi will be coinciding with World TB Day 2004. Aside from being an opportunity for re-vitalising political commitment (at the Forum), the moment offers a unique opportunity to launch a provocative world-wide campaign for catalysing greater public participation in the global movement against TB.
The 2nd Stop TB Partners Forum in New Delhi (March 2004), will bring together nearly 300 partners including: ministerial delegations from the 22 High-Burden Countries; high-level representatives from technical and donor agencies; NGOs and TB/TB-HIV patient networks; and a number of high-profile individuals. The meeting comes at a critical moment in time - half-way through the 2001 - 2005 time-frame envisaged in the Global Plan to Stop TB. Aside from reviewing progress to date, the single over-arching objective of the meeting therefore is to re-vitalise political commitment for meeting the 2005 targets, as expressed in the theme - ' Keeping the Pledge'.
Activities and Products
World TB Day 2004 and the Stop TB Partners Forum will be coinciding in end-March 2004. Since much of the resources of the Advocacy and Communication team of the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat have been committed for the development and actualization of the activities/products planned for the Partners Forum, only a limited number of products for World TB Day 2004 will be produced and released from the Secretariat . The WHO Regional/Country offices and other Stop TB partners are strongly encouraged to provide leadership in organizing World TB Day 2004 products/activities in their respective regions/countries in 2004
Global Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership - A R Rahman
The appointment of A R Rahman, the legendary icon of popular music from India , as the First Global Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership is a great new opportunity for creatively projecting the TB issue, the Stop TB movement, the Partners' Forum and World TB Day 2004 into the public sphere.