Stop TB Partnership and WHO join hands to rally Heads of States to End TB

World TB Day "Wanted Leaders for a TB free World" campaign for 2018 launched ahead of the UNHLM in September

March 2018, Geneva - This World TB Day, Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization (WHO), have joined hands to rally their forces behind the theme for the 2018 World TB Day campaign, "Wanted: Leaders for a TB Free World. Make History. End TB." The first ever joint advocacy and communications campaign was launched by the Stop TB Partnership and WHO to support thousands of partners, activists and persons affected by TB to galvanize momentum to end TB.

The theme is critical for 2018, given the political importance of the upcoming UN General Assembly High Level Meeting (HLM) on TB which will bring together Heads of States. The upcoming India TB Summit 12-17 March will continue the high level dialogue that was started in Moscow last year during the Global Ministerial Conference to End TB and will set the stage for the September 2018 UN HLM on TB, where Heads of States are expected to commit to an ambitious plan of action to put the world on track to ending TB.

"2018 is a critical year as we have an historical window of opportunity to really make huge steps towards ending TB. We need everyone from the tiniest village to the biggest capital come together, commit and act to end TB," said Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership. "We owe this to us and future generations. Enough is enough! We must end TB!" she said.

"We would like countries and their leaders at all levels to commit to accelerate efforts so we can truly elevate the fight against TB," said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme. "The UNHLM on TB offers us the opportunity to unite efforts against this top infectious killer. Our collective ripple can create a groundswell to save lives and end the suffering caused by this disease which affects millions worldwide."

During the week of 19-24 March, WHO and the Stop TB Partnership are calling for greater commitment and leadership to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Mayors, Governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners. All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain.

Each year we commemorate World TB Day on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic impact of TB, and urge acceleration of efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

Every day, nearly 30,000 people fall ill with TB and 4,500 people lose their lives to this preventable and curable disease. TB is also the major cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV. The social and economic impacts are devastating and include stigma and discrimination. Progress in most countries is stalling and is not fast enough to reach global targets or close persistent gaps in TB care and prevention.

To support the planned activities of countries, partners, civil society and others, to commemorate the day, a joint advocacy and communications toolkit containing practical guidance and information for use in the lead-up to and during World TB Day 2018. The materials in the toolkit can be easily adapted for local use.

Access the World TB Day campaign websites here: &