On September 26, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, gave an intervention during the first-ever High-level Meeting dedicated to tuberculosis, entitled “United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic.”
In his statement, Archbishop Gallagher said that the three most important elements of the fight against tuberculosis (TB) are to recognize the gravity of the problem, the urgency of addressing it and the unity needed to fight it effectively. Even though tuberculosis is preventable and curable, he said, one quarter of the world’s population is still infected with the bacteria that cause the disease and many strands are now resistant to standard treatments. Ninety-nine percent of tuberculosis deaths occur in developing countries and strategies to eliminate it must address the situation of poor nutrition, unhealthy living conditions and lack of basic health care. Archbishop Gallagher said that the world must overcome the segregation and stigmatization that happens to those with TB through compassion and solidarity, particularly by family members. He underlined the importance of medical and pharmaceutical research and of sharing the science and technology of TB treatment and the urgency of a global response to this global epidemic.
His statement can be found here.