Michael Riggs from the Stop TB Partner’s Forum in Rio de Janeiro

Today at the Stop TB Partner´s Forum in Rio de Janeiro, indigenous leaders and community members representing approximately 370 million indigenous people globally, in over 70 countries, launched the Stop Global Indigenous TB Initiative and a strategic framework that would guide national TB control programs to work with these communities. TB is a disease of poverty and indigenous peoples are among the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized in their countries. Due to poor housing conditions, poor nutrition, diabetes, alcohol use and active smoking, indigenous peoples have increase susceptibility to TB infection. The launch of the indigenous TB initiative is long over due. Indigenous leaders have called upon over 700 members of the STOP TB Partnership, TB experts and advocates to join them to make addressing indigenous TB a priority. United we can STOP TB in all communites.