On the fifteenth and sixteenth of March 2017, Health ministers of eleven member countries of the World Health organization (WHO) met in New Delhi, India, to strengthen collective commitment towards ending TB in the Region. The WHO South-East Asia Region bears half the global TB burden, leading Health Ministers, key partners and donors to sign a Call to Action for Ending TB. In practice this would be done through the scale-up of efforts and the implementation of adequately funded, innovative, multisectoral and comprehensive measures to achieve the global target to end TB by 2030.
Representing KNCV, Executive Director Dr. Kitty van Weezenbeek spoke at the gathering. She stressed that new tools and interventions are required to END TB, but emphasized that their impact will be limited unless we simultaneously strengthen health systems and reduce stigma in societies. The regional director thanked KNCV for comments and scientific input and announced that ‘bending the curve to end TB’ would be a flagship program of the WHO in the region. Regional Director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh said about the event:
“After witnessing the tremendous commitment of Member States and partners, I have decided to establish the eighth regional flagship program on accelerating efforts to end TB by 2030. Achieving this will now be among WHO’s regional priorities. On behalf of WHO I express my full commitment to work with each of you to make this happen”