Kabul, Afghanistan – On Wednesday, March 24, the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated World Tuberculosis (TB) Day by virtually signing a joint statement to prevent and reduce TB over the next five years in Afghanistan. Dr. Wahid Majrooh Acting Minister of Public Health, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson, and USAID Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones attended the signing ceremony on the margins of the Ministry’s National TB Day event. The ceremony was jointly organized by the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health and USAID.
“This agreement embodies our dedication to advance the health and well-being of the people of Afghanistan, even during this unprecedented era of COVID-19, ” said Ambassador Wilson. “It also represents an articulation of our enduring partnership with the people of Afghanistan.”
USAID Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones echoed Ambassador Wilson and emphasized that USAID’s partnership with the people of Afghanistan brings results. “We know that by working together, we can make a positive difference—we have done it before. And now, looking to the next five years, I am confident that we will build on our incredible gains and reach our goal of ending TB in Afghanistan,” she said.
Tuberculosis remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. Killing nearly 1.4 million people each year, it is the ninth leading cause of death globally. While significant gains have been made to combat the disease, COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the global TB response in a matter of months and threatens to unravel years of progress.
Celebrated each year on March 24, World TB Day brings attention to the health, economic, and social consequences of this disease. As the U.S Government leader in international TB efforts, USAID remains committed to ending TB.