Support for health charities vital in fighting TB

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Support for health charities vital in fighting TB

OTTAWA MARCH 23, 2005 “ March 24th is World StopTB Day. The Lung Association has been working for over 100 years to control tuberculosis in Canada. Although TB is well controlled in Canada, it is not sufficient to fight tuberculosis (TB) in Canada alone. TB is a global disease and we need to be part of the global solution.

Worldwide, TB kills more people than any other infectious disease - more than 1.8 million per year. One-third of the world's population is infected with TB.

The Canadian Lung Association has been working for the past five years to establish a world-class TB control program in Ecuador. The project has been very successful in training local Ecuadorian health care professionals to detect and cure TB. Thanks to this work, over seven million Ecuadorians have access to effective TB treatment.

Dr. Brian Graham, Vice-President of International Development for the Canadian Lung Association says, This project is an excellent example of engaging Canadians in international health projects, working with our neighbours in the Americas to combat TB.

Since 1999, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has provided over $6 million for this project. This is a small part of Canada 's contribution to global funding for tuberculosis. The main emphasis of Canada 's support has been through the World Health Organization (WHO).

CIDA recently reduced funding to Canadian organizations that make it possible for Canadians to become involved in development programs around the world.

The Lung Association feels that there must be a balance between funding international agencies like the WHO and funding Canadian agencies that engage Canadian experts in international health projects, added Dr. Graham. A key success factor is the contribution of internationally recognized Canadian TB authorities who generously contribute their time and expertise.

We commend the Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Aileen Carroll, for her support of global TB programs, says Deirdre Freiheit, President and CEO of the Canadian Lung Association. However, we urge the Minister to also support Canadian agencies and avoid eroding Canadian capacity for international development.

The Canadian Lung Association was founded in 1900, under the original name of the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Consumption and other Forms of Tuberculosis.  We work to improve the lung health of Canadians through research, prevention, education and advocacy. The CLA leads national and international initiatives in lung health and we are the primary resource for lung health in Canada.

As Canada 's oldest voluntary health organization, The Lung Association has a rich and trusted history of providing a broad range of vital lung health services to Canadians.

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Page Last Updated: 23/03/2005