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23 March 2017

Comments/questions: editor@iom.int

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Brick factory workers in Mawlamyine, in Myanmar’s Mon State are one of the many groups of migrant workers who receive health education from IOM on issues such as TB, Malaria and HIV. Photo: IOM

We Must 'Unite to End TB'- IOM

Switzerland - 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.

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Lama's Story: Helping in the Fight Against TB
By IOM Jordan

Jordan - In 2015 and 2016 alone, IOM has visited 669,516 individuals, detected 240 cases and treated 95 percent of them. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health and with the funds from the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, we contribute to the eradication of tuberculosis in Jordan.

Watch here: English | French | Spanish

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How Vulnerable Populations are Tackling Tuberculosis in Colombia
By Karen Mora

Colombia - Karen Rivas, 29, was born in Chocó, a department in northwest Colombia which was most affected by the armed conflict.

In 2009, after presenting symptoms including weight loss, loss of appetite, fever and diarrhoea, Karen was diagnosed with bacilliferous pulmonary tuberculosis, a contagious and drug-resistant strain also known as Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR). As her home region did not have adequate medical infrastructure, she was forced to migrate to Medellin, one of Colombia’s largest cities.

Beginning in 2010, she started her battle against this particularly tough strain of TB. In addition to leaving her family, Karen confronted a difficult economic situation. Being alone, without financial resources and sick in a strange city, Karen, at one point, survived by eating leftover food. 

Although still very sick and desperate, Karen started helping other people in similar circumstances. She started supporting people not only with TB, but also HIV, and became a leader in patient support for people with TB and HIV-related TB, not just in Medellin, but throughout the country.

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Every Breath You Take

By Joe Lowry and Dr Jaime Calderon, IOM Vienna
Photo credits: Florian Bachmeier

On World TB Day we look at why detecting and curing Tuberculosis is an essential part of well managed migration. This essay is accompanied by illustrations from "The White Death", a book on TB in Moldova, by award-winning photographer Florian Bachmeier, who has provided an endnote.

When the German microbiologist Dr Robert Koch discovered the bacillus that causes tuberculosis back in 1882, the disease was the most feared on the planet. In Europe and the Americas, one in seven deaths were caused by TB, making it one of the biggest killers in history.

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Visit IOM webpage on:
Human Mobility and Tuberculosis​


TOGETHER is a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. More here




More IAAM stories here


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This year, on World TB Day, the Stop TB Partnership is launching a global challenge "Light up the World for TB". We kindly challenge all our partners to work with authorities in cities across the world to light up their landmarks in red on 24 March 2017 to show their commitment towards ending TB. 

This follows on from the success seen last year when the cities of Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro illuminated key monuments in red.

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For more go here.


The Lucky Specials tells the story of an aspiring cover band from a small South African mining town. As the band members are affected by tuberculosis, the film takes dramatic turns while offering the audience scientific information about TB, its treatment, and tools to fight the stigma related to the disease.

Watch film trailer here


"I’m appalled at the conditions detained migrants have to endure." – IOM Director General William Lacy Swing during his visit to Tripoli, Libya on 22 March 2017.

Read more here and see tweet here.


Migration in the News

  • Xinhua and Libyan Express reported that Libya’s Head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Serraj, met Wednesday in Tripoli with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing to discuss irregular migration and human trafficking in Libya.

  • Reuters reported that humanitarian ships operating off the coast of Libya are undermining the fight against people smugglers and opening a corridor that is ultimately leading to more migrant deaths, an Italian prosecutor said on Wednesday.

  • Daily Sabah reported that Belgium's migration minister attacked aid groups for saving drowning migrants in the Mediterranean, saying they were only causing more deaths by doing so.

  • Lifezette reported that approximately 9,000 irregular migrants entered Germany during the first two months of 2017, government figures show.

  • AP reported that one year after the Brussels attacks, the city's physical scars may have healed, but the pain is still apparent beneath the surface.

  • Philippine Star reported that the governor of Maguindanao province offered lots for offices of two national agencies essential to domestic campaigns against human trafficking and misguided Islamic extremism. Manila Times reported that the governor also urged women to help in the government’s efforts to rid villages of extremists and radicals.

  • Ghana’s CitiFMonline reported that the government is working to improve its fight against human trafficking, according to Minister of Interior Ambrose Dery.

  • AlterNet reported that people with disabilities are more vulnerable to climate change, yet their needs are not being met. 


Trending on the Internet

  • Associated Press reported that Argentina's San Luis province is happily receiving Syrian migrants through what is seen as the most generous migrant program of its kind in South America.

  • BBC Sport follows the Syria football team as they chase World Cup qualification against the backdrop of war. 


Media Contacts
For comment / interviews on today's news, please go to the contact(s) listed at the end of each press briefing note. For other information please contact the IOM Media & Communications team here