European policy makers focus on tuberculosis, Luxembourg – 30 June-1 July 2009
|The European Commission, the ECDC and WHO EURO met in Luxembourg for a two-day meeting with more than 90 representatives from the European Ministries of Health, donors and stakeholders to discuss the follow-up of the 2007 Berlin Declaration.
This Declaration resets health agendas across the WHO European Region, to ensure that urgent and necessary commitment and funds are put in place to halt the spread of TB.
The meeting provided an opportunity to analyse progress made and actions needed. It clearly showed that despite the momentum created by the Declaration and recent achievements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention, the European countries were still short of reaching their common objectives of controlling and stopping TB. In 2007, 500 000 tuberculosis cases were reported in the 53 WHO EURO countries, including 85 000 in the 27 EU and EFTA/EEA countries.
Various factors may explain this situation: the high prevalence of tuberculosis in vulnerable groups, the association of HIV co-infection and the emergence of tuberculosis strains resistant to drugs.
To tackle this challenge, the participants agreed on a series of actions and principles to halt the spread of TB in Europe: strengthen the involvement of the civil society and NGO-s, promote health systems strengthening, ensure the follow-up on the Berlin Declaration, ensure that the European Countries have access to the existing funding mechanisms and ensure that research is maintained as a priority.
Further discussions with TB partners and stakeholders will be organised to discuss these conclusions and their implementation.
Full meeting report
European award on NGO combat against tuberculosis
As part of this meeting, the European Commission, ECDC and WHO EURO presented a European award on NGO combat against TB to three NGO-s for their exceptional commitment to the fight against TB and the extent of the originality and potential impact of their work on TB control and TB affected communities
After considering the work of different NGO-s (EU and non EU, Southern and Northern NGO-s), the three rewarded organisations were as follows: