Last week thousands of
people representing hundreds of organizations from around the world
gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the third UN-backed “Stop TB Partners’ Forum.”
the people that attended was Dr. Lee Reichman of the Stop TB partnerships.
He is also the executive director of the New Jersey Medical School National
Tuberculosis Center and principal investigator for the National Institute of
Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grants related
Reichman says that health experts hope to "cut in half the
number of tuberculosis-related cases and deaths by 2015.” The Stop TB Partnership
was established in 2000 with its main goal being the elimination of tuberculosis
as a global public health problem.
This year’s slogan, “I am
stopping TB,” is the beginning of a two-year campaign to call on people
everywhere to get involved in the campaign to stop the disease. “TB is one of
the biggest killers…and the paradox is it’s preventable and curable,” he says.
He adds that this year’s theme “calls on us to generate the political will and
interest to fight TB.”
Dr. Reichman says the tools to fight TB are old
and need to be revamped. “We have not had a new drug to treat TB in almost
fifty years,” he says. One of the biggest problems in the fight against TB, according
to most health experts, is effective diagnosis.“We need new tools to make all of
these aspects more up to date, convenient and appropriate,” he says.