Sunday, July 11, 2010 - 08:00 to 09:15

Tuberculosis (TB) kills nearly 2 million people every year - 5000 every day - mainly in the poorest communities in the developing world. It afflicts millions more. About one third of the world's population is infected with TB - that is, they have a latent TB infection that may later cause the disease to develop. Nearly 9 million new cases are estimated to develop every year. Afghanistan is 1 of the 22 TB high-burden countries and TB is a major health issue in Afghanistan. WHO estimates that every year in Afghanistan, more than 42,000 new cases occur and more than 8,000 of them die. About 27,000 of TB cases are women, a highly vulnerable group, which accounts for 68% of all TB cases registered in public clinics.

The National Stop TB Partnership is an innovative initiative put in place to address current challenges in TB control, taking into account competencies and comparative advantage of actors that come together from various sectors to act at a level where they can perform better and more effectively.

Afghanistan National Stop TB Partnership was launched on 11 January, 2009 with the purpose of realizing the goal of achieving a TB-free Afghanistan. The aim is to ensure that every TB patient in Afghanistan has access to effective diagnosis, treatment, and cure; stop transmission of TB in the country; and reduce its inequitable social and economic toll.

MoPH and WHO is in the midst of expanding the scope and the concept of partnership to the provincial level. After Hirat (June 2009) and Kandahar (April 2010), the Stop TB Partnership is now going to be launched in Mazar-e-Sharif on 11th July 2010 while there is an external review mission of NTP.