Ambassador Philippe Meunier visits South Africa [fr]
On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, Philippe Meunier, Ambassador in charge of the fight against HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases, gave a public speech on behalf of the Global Fund and France, in the presence of South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, representatives of international organizations as UNITAID, Stop TB and national organizations such as the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC). Philippe Meunier also met with the Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier.
France is determined to play a key role in the fight against TB. It is the second largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which provides 80% of international efforts in the fight against tuberculosis and the leading contributor to UNITAID, which develops innovative programmes serving this global health issue.
In an article published in the French newspaper “Le Monde” on 24 March 2015, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health of South Africa and Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Board, and Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Innovative Finance for Development and president of UNITAID, emphasized the threat posed by TB and the urgent need to find innovative funding solutions to fight the disease, as well as to increase investment in research on its diagnosis and treatment.
Tuberculosis causes more than 1.5 million deaths a year in the whole world. South Africa registers around 500 000 cases of active tuberculosis every year and it is the first cause of death in the country.