24 January 2017 - Geneva, Switzerland - To further enhance its efforts in helping end TB, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the financial support of the Stop TB Partnership, yesterday (19/01) launched the world’s first dedicated TB and Migration Portal: The Knowledge Platform on Tuberculosis and Migration (tbandmigration.iom.int).
The portal, created by the IOM’s Migration Health Division (MHD), aims to offer a platform through which partners globally are able to access and share the latest information, research and knowledge on TB and Migration issues, to ameliorate the assistance and the support IOM provides to its beneficiaries worldwide.
Tuberculosis is one of the world’s main health challenges with 9 million new cases and nearly 1.5 million deaths each year. Additionally, it is very often a social disease, as it leads to marginalization and discrimination.
"It was tough," testified a Pakistani national and TB patient served by IOM and had migrated to Indonesia. "I really felt alone because I didn’t feel like I can talk to anybody about the condition. Some of my friends who know were scared to be near me. I’m tried to minimize talking and coughing when people were around so nobody else got sick. However, after starting the treatment, my condition improved significantly."
"As the Stop TB Partnership, our mandate is to work closely with and support our partners in our collective efforts to end TB globally. To achieve this goal, TB and Migration must continue to get as much global attention as possible. The TB and Migration Portal will be an important part of the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020 and as such we are pleased to support IOM and all our partners in their efforts," said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
The platform will offer a comprehensive and up-to-date overview on TB and migration, providing a one-stop service website to promote new research, information exchange and dialogue, intended to fill the existing data, research and knowledge gaps on TB and migration. It will constantly provide updated information about related events and conferences worldwide, and cross promotes latest news from partners. It will also collates the main publications on the topic and facilitates contact with the experts.
"IOM hopes to engage more partners in this long-term project," said Dr. Davide Mosca, Director of MHD at IOM HQ in Geneva. "This would turn this portal into an official platform for the UNION TB and Migration Working Group, with the scope of facilitating online discussions and engagement among various stakeholders and enhancing better policies and cooperation among different actors."
The Working Group on TB and Migration is one of several such groups established under the TB section of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD), which offers an opportunity for the UNION TB members to collaborate with each other on TB related research, publications and projects.