Dear Dr Kritski, Brazilian TB Research Network (Rede TB)
Warm greetings to youand your colleagues.
I am honoured to write to you in the first days following my appointment as Director of the WHO Global TB Programme. I thank Dr Tedros for this appointment and am committed to his vision for WHO and WHO’s role in enabling the right to health and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. I am honoured to take on this new role from Dr Mario Raviglione, who led the TB department for nearly 15 years. As the new TB Director, I assure you of my utmost commitment and that of my WHO team, in transforming and accelerating the global TB response.
This is a critical time for us all. The fight to end TB is in the political spotlight like never before. We have commitment at the highest levels through the G20, BRICS, APEC and G7 communiques. The Moscow Declaration to End TB which was adopted at the First WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era last month, includes strong commitments and calls to action to accelerate efforts to end the TB epidemic. This important event brought together 120 high-level country delegations including around 75 Ministers, and over a thousand partners encompassing representatives from civil society, development agencies, the corporate sector, academia and other partner organizations. But the best is yet to come. In 2018, Heads-of-State will come together at the first-ever UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB (UNHLM) which will raise the profile of the fight to end TB even higher. It is imperative that we stand united in the coming months, synergizing our efforts to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcome for the millions of people losing their lives or struggling against this top infectious killer.
I will be in touch with you again in the New Year, with a message outlining the vision and priorities of the WHO Global TB Programme.
I wish you, your colleagues and loved ones happy holidays, and a happy, healthy and fruitful 2018!
Dr Tereza Kasaeva
Global TB Programme (GTB)
World Health Organization