UN Special Envoy visiting Africa, challenging countries to tackle tuberculosis

1 December 2009 | Nairobi, Kenya -- The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis (TB) is visiting two African countries in a mission is organized by the Stop TB Partnership in close collaboration with UNAIDS.

Dr. Sampaio, is asking key stakeholders including governments to take an active role in helping people in need to gain access to accurate TB diagnosis and effective treatment. The five-day official visit in the region will see Dr. Sampaio visit Ethiopia and Kenya.

The Special Envoy has reiterated his request to Ministers of Health in Africa to set ambitious national targets and mobilize the funding necessary to reduce the number of people living with HIV who die unnecessarily of TB. He made the initial request at a Special Ministerial Session on TB in Kigali, Rwanda two months ago.

Dr Sampaio's visit to Kenya coincides with World AIDS Day, which is marked annually on December 1 across the globe. In Nairobi, an educational workshop for school children will focus on various aspects of the disease including its prevention and treatment. Mr Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sports, Development, and Peace will also be on hand and join Dr Sampaio at a football tournament for boys and girls aged 12 to 14.

Press Release [.pdf]