16 February 2009 - Damascus, Syria -- H.E. Dr Maher Alhousami, Minister for Health of Syria, announced the creation of a National Partnership Program for Combating Tuberculosis in his country during the third meeting of the Coordinating Board of the Eastern Mediterranean Stop TB Partnership, held here for the past two days. The new partnership is an initiative of the Ministry of Health, the Syrian Society for Combating Tuberculosis, WHO and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, among others.
At a press conference held on the occasion of the meeting Dr Hussein A Gezairy, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, congratulated Syria for achieving a 70% case detection rate for TB.
Other outcomes of the Board meeting included decisions to continue providing support for the creation and development of national partnerships in the Region and to organize upcoming Board meetings in countries that are already in process of initiating national partnerships. The Board will also encourage countries to use all possible financing avenues available to initiate and run national partnerships, particularly Global Fund grant support.