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NEW YORK, April 22 – The Assembly of First Nations, the World Health Organization and the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease want to make the global crisis of tuberculosis among Indigenous peoples a key issue at the UN. At the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) they will put forward a resolution that seeks to make organizations responsible for monitoring TB accountable to the global community in terms of taking action. Media are also invited to attend a panel where the three groups will address the TB crisis, April 23rd, open at 10:00 am (UN Building – Room 9) Globally, there were approximately 9.6 million new cases of tuberculosis, in 2006. That same year approximately 1.6 million people died from the disease. Many of these deaths were preventable. It is possible to lower the prevalence of TB by addressing the conditions and factors that cause it to spread – overcrowded housing, poverty, a lack of access to medical care. In Canada TB has been virtually wiped out, except among aboriginal populations where the rates of tuberculosis are 30 times higher than the mainstream Canadian population.
Who: Assembly of First Nations, World Health Organization, Union Against TB and Lung Disease
What: Panel of TB Crisis
When: Panel : April 23rd 10:00 am. Resolution to be introduced April 24
Where: New York, New York (UNPFII) UN Building – Room 9
Why we are here?
In order to generate support and awareness for the Global Indigenous STOP TB Initiative, the AFN is leading a delegation of representatives at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Seventh Session, New York, April 21 – May 2, 2008. The purpose of the lobbying initiative is to support a resolution recognizing the enormous burden TB has on indigenous peoples globally, and the need for a community-based, concerted effort to address this disparity.
A resolution will give voice to an era of Indigenous TB neglect, provide political support to targeted interventions, and create links between the Forum members and global TB expertise. Neglect must end. Stopping TB must be an immediate priority.
For further information: Karyn Pugliese, Health Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 ext. 210, (613) 292-1877, firstname.lastname@example.org
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