China’s first lady calls for global effort against TB
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressed the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on ending tuberculosis (TB) via video on Wednesday, calling for a global effort to put an end to the epidemic.
Peng, who became the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for TB and HIV/AIDS in 2011, shared her feelings and experiences with the attendees of the meeting, which took place at UN headquarters in New York. She also shared touching stories of unsung heroes in China who have been selflessly dedicated to the cause of combating TB.
Peng, who is also China’s National Ambassador for TB Control and Prevention, said that control and prevention of the TB epidemic in China has made rapid progress and its victims are being diagnosed and treated in a more timely and effective fashion.
The progress has been made because of the great importance that the Chinese government and the entire society have attached to the cause, as well as the enthusiastic participation of about 700,000 volunteers, she said.
In some parts of China, TB prevention has become one of the key tasks in the government’s poverty alleviation program, said Peng.
Now, China has seen continuous increases of case detection and cure rates for TB and decreases in morbidity and mortality, as many TB victims in the country have their lives renewed, said Peng, adding that the awareness rate of TB control and prevention knowledge has reached over 75 percent in China.
Thanks to joint efforts by governments, international organizations, NGOs, specialists and volunteers, the control and prevention of the tuberculosis epidemic on the global level have scored significant achievements, but mankind still faces severe challenges in the fight, Peng said.
The World Health Organization has adopted an End TB Strategy, she said, urging all countries in the world to join hands and do their best to change the lives of the millions of people who are affected by TB and end the global epidemic.
The high-level meeting was chaired by Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. A political declaration on the control and prevention of TB was endorsed at the meeting.