The World Health Organization (WHO) is eager to continue developing vaccines to fight major diseases, including tuberculosis (TB) and Ebola, in cooperation with Russia, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow hosted a two-day conference dubbed “Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response” that attracted over 1,000 participants, including dozens of ministerial delegates from countries around the world.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the conference that the organization is “very keen to partner with the Russian Federation” to develop vaccines for TB, Ebola and other major diseases.
Ghebreyesus praised Russia’s efforts, particularly, the political commitment of the government to prevent and fight tuberculosis.
The participants of the conference unanimously adopted the Moscow declaration on tackling tuberculosis, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said Friday.
“Russia has done a lot in the prevention, in the early diagnosis and treatment of TB and also research and development, plus in allocating funds, domestic resources to fight TB. These are the recommendations we made in the declaration. The Russian Federation has done almost all of them. This shows the political commitment that the [Russian] government has. If countries are to learn from Russia, it starts from political commitment,” Ghebreyesus stated.
TB is an infectious disease, which primarily targets the lungs and is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. According to the latest WHO Global Tuberculosis report, an estimated 10.4 million people were infected with TB in 2016 and 1.7 million died from the disease.
The problem of tuberculosis goes beyond the competence of health authorities and should be addressed from all angles, Skvortsova said.
“The creation of a multi-sectoral system of accountability where we can visualize the input any organization can have — whether economic, social or health-related — in solving the problem of tuberculosis with the use of understandable and transparent methods is a vital goal both nationally and globally,” she said at the conference.
The minister added that the social significance of tuberculosis required it to be addressed not only by health agencies and ministries but also by “organizations responsible for the conditions of life of the workforce, ecology, environment, education, finance and the economy.”