Sub-national Partnership to Stop TB launched in Kandahar, Afghanistan

9 February 2010 - Kandahar, Afghanistan - Dr Suraya Dalil, Acting Minister of Public Health of Afghanistan; Mr James Melanson, Development Director of CIDA; Prof. Obaidullha Obaid, Chair of the National Stop TB Partnership Afghanistan; members of the Partnership's board; and officials of WHO, UNICEF and the local government gathered here today to launch a sub-national Partnership to Stop TB.

"Across the world one out of three people who become sick with tuberculosis fail to access timely, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. I say everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should have access to tuberculosis care," Dr Dalil said.

Afghanistan is among the 22 countries of the world with the highest burden of TB. Devastated by three decades of war and conflict, the country is gradually moving back to life with successes like TB care. Afghanistan's TB care system is run jointly by the government and private sector partners, including international and national NGOs, and UN organizations. In early 2009 a national stop TB partnership was established and later that year, a sub-national partnership was launched in Herat.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome the establishment in Kandahar of Afghanistan's second sub-national Stop TB Partnership," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership." This launch comes just half a year after the Herat Province partnership was inaugurated. We praise the efforts of Her Excellency Dr Suraya Dalil and those of the board and partners of the National Partnership. Their initiative speaks of a strong commitment to providing local solutions to local TB control."