24 March - Geneva, Switzerland and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Stop TB Partnership today issued the following statement to mark World TB Day.
"On the occasion of the World TB Day, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Stop TB Partnership reaffirm their commitment to take effective action to overcome the deadly disease of Tuberculosis and to work together in this regard.
We recognize the threat posed by TB, an airborne disease which is developing drug-resistant strains, in an increasingly interconnected world. It feeds on and perpetuates poverty, stifles economic development and prospects of better future for families.
The OIC countries accounted for half a million deaths out of the total 1.4 million who died of the disease in 2011. Accordingly, we emphasize the need for prioritizing the fight against TB within our spheres of influence and improving access for TB diagnosis, treatment and care for everyone. We call upon the relevant authorities in the OIC Member States to allocate necessary resources for this purpose.
TB prevention and treatment will be one of the priority issues during the 4th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers which will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, later this year. The OIC looks forward to working with international partners, including the WHO and Stop TB Partnership, to benefit from the new tools and tests being developed for the prevention diagnosis and treatment of TB including development of new drugs and vaccines.
We underscore that TB is preventable and curable and deaths from the disease are avoidable through ensuring timely and effective action".