Tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.7 million people in 2016 – more than Ebola, HIV and malaria combined.
No country remains untouched. The UK remains a TB hotspot in Europe and once held the unfortunate accolade of being the TB capital of Western Europe. Globally, many countries are struggling to contain this growing global health threat. Many TB programmes remain under-funded and we lack the tools we need to effectively prevent, diagnose and treat TB.
However, after decades of political neglect, political attention is finally turning to TB. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to hold the first ever High-Level Meeting (HLM) on TB on September 26 where new commitments to combat TB will be made. And in 2017, we finally started to see higher-level political engagement among world leaders, as the G20 placed TB firmly in their list of global priorities for the first time.
As you will know, the UK has played a leading role in the fight against tuberculosis and drug-resistance through its pioneering research into antimicrobial resistance and investments in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria that has helped save millions of lives over the last 15 years.
With the UN High-Level Meeting now fast approaching, I am writing to ask you to attend the event and to use the UK’s position as a leader on TB and AMR to ensure the meeting is a success.
Without a major change of pace, we won’t reach the Sustainable Development Goal target of ending TB by 2030 for another 160 years, at the cost of millions of lives and a devastating impact on the world’s economy. We must not miss this oportunity.
SW8 1SJ London
+44 20 7793 firstname.lastname@example.org
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