National Call: Canadian Government takes lead at home but what about abroad?

On March 24, 2017, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, the Government of Canada, in partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (the national organization representing the Inuit peoples of Canada), announced that Canada will end the TB epidemic in Inuit Nunangat (Canada’s Inuit regions). This is a significant example of Canadian leadership on addressing TB on a national scale. However, it is important to note at our current rates of progress we will not meet the international community’s goal of ending the global TB epidemic for another 150 years.

We need countries all over the world, including Canada, to send their heads of state and government to the HLM on TB. We need the world’s political leaders to know that TB is the number one infectious killer in the world, that of the estimated 10.4 million people each year suffering from TB, 4 million go undiagnosed and receive no care. Political leaders can and must play a role in defeating this curable disease. Canada has an opportunity to bring this leadership to the UN HLM on TB, where governments will be held to account to end the TB epidemic by 2030. 150 years, the forecast time at current improvement rates, is too long to wait to defeat a curable disease.

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