Joint Germany–WHO/Europe high-level event highlights partnerships as key to ending TB in the WHO European Region

WHO

Representatives of the German Development Bank KfW, the German Ministry of Health, the Koch-Metschnikow Forum, the Robert Koch Institute and WHO/Europe, as well as ex-patients, pay tribute to Robert Koch while posing around his statue. Robert Koch identified the causal agent of TB in 1882

To celebrate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day and the 10th anniversary of the Berlin Declaration on TB, a high-level event gathered representatives of foreign missions and embassies in Berlin, as well as representatives of key partners and other relevant high-level stakeholders, in Berlin, Germany. The event took place in the historic lecture hall of the Robert Koch Institute on 20 March 2018.

Better partnerships for better outcomes

A decade after the Berlin Declaration, its goals are now pursued through the End TB Strategy and the Tuberculosis action plan for the WHO European Region 2016–2020. WHO/Europe presented challenges and good practices in addressing TB, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and TB/HIV coinfection in the Region. Participants emphasized that despite some successes achieved since the adoption of the Berlin Declaration, stronger collaboration is needed to tackle TB, MDR-TB and TB/HIV coinfection in the Region more effectively and sustainably.

In view of the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on ending TB in September 2018, country representatives also discussed their possible roles and contributions.

Different perspectives on TB

An MDR-TB survivor shared his story of being an MDR-TB patient. He stressed the importance of taking advantage of current momentum to maintain strong political commitment to fight TB, and to facilitate its translation into action.

Several country representatives shared positive achievements in their countries on providing more effective and efficient treatment and decreasing the TB burden and related human suffering. They showcased the benefits of digitalization for supporting TB treatment and contributing to the shift towards more people-centred TB care. Participants expressed positive feedback for this trend.