IOM Renews Calls to “Unite to End TB”
Switzerland - This World TB Day (24/03), IOM reiterates the call for proactive national and international multi-sectoral cooperation, in order to reach tuberculosis targets set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) End TB Strategy and by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Although it is curable, tuberculosis remains one of the world’s top health challenges, with more than 2.4 billion people infected – or a third of the world’s population. Diagnostic delays, the lack of access to TB services, discrimination associated with TB infection and poor continuity of care services are among the significant causes for tuberculosis and migration challenges in several parts of the world.
“As a member of the Stop TB Partnership, IOM supports the call to ‘Unite to End TB’,” said Dr. Davide Mosca, Director of the IOM Migration Health Division. “In view of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and ahead of the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB planned for 2018, it is important to advocate for sustainable solutions to end TB through a collaborative, migrant-centred and multi-sectoral approach.”
Over the years, with support from donors including the Global Fund and the Stop TB Partnership, IOM has implemented TB prevention, treatment and care services for the most vulnerable migrant and mobile populations and those living in hard to reach areas, in close collaboration with National TB programmes, other UN partners, civil society actors and migrant communities themselves.
“IOM remains committed to working around the world to address the needs of migrants, especially in the provision of TB diagnostic, treatment and care services,” added Dr. Mosca.
Recent examples of such programmes can be observed in Tajikistan, where IOM implements TB projects to improve health-seeking behaviour among migrants before departure and upon return. This is done by raising awareness, building the support of the government and other key partners to ensure access to TB care for migrants, enacting referral mechanisms, active TB case detection and decreasing TB treatment incompliance by providing treatment adherence support.
Similarly, in Jordan and Lebanon, IOM has been working on enhancing tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment to reduce tuberculosis transmission, morbidity, and mortality among Syrian refugees and migrants, through targeted mechanisms for preventing disruptions and ensuring sustained delivery of health services.
For more information, please visit Human Mobility and Tuberculosis.