3 November 2009 | Madrid -- Soraya Rodríguez, the Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, announced today that the Government of Spain will continue funding the global fight against TB in line with the country's strategic plan for the period from 2009 to 2012. Secretary Rodríguez made her announcement on the occasion of a debate organized by Planeta Salud and the Stop TB Partnership, which brought together Spanish parliamentarians, the scientific community and civil society.
In her remarks Secretary Rodríguez made special note of the importance of TB research and development, which she called "a priority that strengthens health systems."
Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of Stop TB Partnership, who opened the session with Secretary Rodriguez, thanked the Spanish government for its steady leadership in global health, specifically in relation to its role in tuberculosis control. "The Spanish have demonstrated their commitment to achieving progress on tuberculosis control, which we hope they will sustain through ongoing support to initiatives such as the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership," he said.
Dr Espinal briefed participants on the global TB situation and the needed response. Other panelists included Fidel Lopez, Ambassador for HIV, TB, and Malaria, who outlined Spain's actions on TB and reaffirmed the government's commitment to continued funding. Dario Abarca, representing communities affected by TB, called on those present and people all over the world to become involved. "We must unite to stop tuberculosis", he said.
The event was closed by Congressman Gaspar Llamazares, president of the Parliamentary Commission on Health, Social Policy and consumption, and Senator José Antonio Rubio, Deputy Secretary of the Parliamentary Commission on International Cooperation for Development.