Switzerland, 23 March 2017 – On World TB Day 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) joins the Stop TB Partnership, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other key partners in redoubling efforts to increase public awareness of tuberculosis and its impact on vulnerable populations such as migrants.
Although tuberculosis is a curable disease, according to the WHO’s Global TB Report 2016, it remains the world’s leading infectious killer disease, with more deaths every year than HIV/AIDS or malaria. Moreover, it leads to stigmatization and discrimination practices in many countries, further reducing opportunities for key populations, including migrants, to access care and prevention services.
The UN General Assembly in September 2016 saw world leaders agreeing on the development of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, as well as a Global Compact for Refugees. In this context, the health of all migrants is one of the major concerns that need to be addressed by governments and the international community through the promotion of migrants’ access to health and the respect of their human rights, as well as recognition of the positive contributions made by migrants to sustainable development.
On World TB Day 2017, IOM calls for a more proactive international cooperation and approach to eradicate tuberculosis by 2030, as set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In May 2014, the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the new End TB Strategy and targets. This strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic by 2035 by setting specific benchmarks and targets. It builds on a “know your epidemic” approach and focuses particularly on serving the most vulnerable and marginalized populations.
To further address and pursue the elimination of tuberculosis, WHO and IOM have developed recommendations on adaptation of the End TB Strategy to specifically address the needs of migrants and mobile populations.
Every day, IOM Missions around the world implement dedicated programmes and initiatives to fight TB, support vulnerable populations in their access to health services and advocate governments and other stakeholders for more migrant-inclusive health policies.
The path towards a world without TB will lead to a UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018.
Together with our partners, we call for international and coordination action on 24 March 2017 and beyond to ensure that we eradicate TB.
We must “Unite to End TB” because TB knows no borders and we must “Leave No One Behind”.