Dozens of African health ministers have declared tuberculosis an emergency in the region, where it kills more than half a million people each year.

Officials announced the decision in Mozambique during a meeting of the World Health Organization's Regional Committee for Africa, which ends Friday.  Officials say urgent measures are needed as TB cases have quadrupled in 18 African nations since 1990.

The World Health Organization says most cases of the lung infection can be cured through a six-month drug plan.

Experts say TB is a leading cause of death for people with HIV-AIDS, which affects the immune systems of millions of people across Africa.