3 June 2011 - Acclaimed Chinese vocal artist, Ms Peng Liyuan, has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS by the WHO's Director-General Margaret Chan.
As a WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Ms Peng will raise international attention on these two diseases, which together were responsible for the deaths of more than 3.5 million people in 2009. In addition, she will advocate for stronger action to ensure those in need can access prevention, care and treatment services.
"I am delighted that Ms Peng Liyuan has agreed to represent the WHO as a Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. "Her appointment will have a lasting impact in bringing awareness to two of the world's deadliest infectious diseases and the recent advances that have been made in the areas of prevention and treatment of TB and HIV."
"Ms Peng has captured the attention of millions of fans through her compelling performances," Dr. Chan continued. "Through her increased profile on a global platform, she will reinforce international commitments to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals, set for 2015."
As one of the most popular vocal artists in China, Ms Peng has an enormous following that spans millions of people. She has won numerous awards for her singing as well as her humanitarian work. For more than five years, Ms. Peng has been working with the Chinese Ministry of Health to spread awareness about preventable diseases.
"It is a great honour to be given this important role by WHO," Ms Peng said at an inauguration ceremony at WHO headquarters in Geneva. "I hope to make a significant contribution to the great work of WHO in saving lives from TB and HIV/AIDS, and that my involvement will benefit those who are at most at risk."
In her role as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for TB and HIV, Ms Peng will participate in a series of high profile events to promote concerted action on the two diseases and to tackle the diseases together given that people living with HIV are more likely to develop tuberculosis.