UN Secretary-General marks World TB Day with visit to TB patients in Malaysia

21 March 2012 - Jalan Pahang, Malaysia - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid a visit to the Institute of Respiratory Medicine today in observance of World TB Day during a two-day official visit to Malaysia. He was accompanied by his wife Ban Soon-taek, and they were joined by Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

"My wife and myself provided some medicines to two patients. I’m very much humbled and at the same time encouraged that they are given this service, very kind, caring service. I’m also very happy to see that that they are receiving treatment. One lady told me that she was truly happy. I really wanted to give them a strong sense of hope. Behind them everybody is there, especially the doctors and nurses are taking care of them," he said in opening remarks.

The Secretary-General praised the efforts of staff at the institute, saying he wished TB patients around the world could get such holistic care. He also called for intensified global solidarity to ensure that all people were free from TB and its devastating effects.

"Globally, among all infectious diseases, TB remains the 2nd leading killer. Our goal now is to stop TB in our lifetime," he said, adding that the UN takes the disease very seriously, with a high priority.

In concluding his remarks, the Secretary-General asked those present to vow to end TB in our lifetime " so that future generations will think TB stands for TB beaten, TB stands for tuberculosis vanished. If I can lend my name, my name is Ban, some people pronounce my name "Ban" so "TB Banned".