Director’s Message

 

Director’s Message

The Heads of the State or Government of the Member Countries of SAARC at their Fifth Summit held at Male from 22-23 November 1990 decided that the SAARC Tuberculosis Centre would be set up in Nepal.
Accordingly, consequent upon formulation of rules and regulations it has been functioning since 1994.  Since its inception the Centre has taken the challenges of combating the threats of Tuberculosis. Since 2005, the STAC is dealing with both TB and HIV/AIDS in the SAARC Region with new revised mandate.

As one of the Regional Centers of SAARC, the Centre has been working with the vision to support and guide SAARC member states to make the region free of TB and HIV/AIDS by coordinating National Tuberculosis Control Programmes (NTPs) and National HIV/AIDS Control Programmes (NACPs) of the Member States. The Centre has developed and launched the revised SAARC Regional Strategies on; HIV/AIDS (2018-2023), Advocacy, Communication & Social Mobilization- ACSM  (2018-2023), Elimination Tuberculosis (2018-2023) and  Migration Health on TB and HIV/AIDS (2018-2023).

The priority areas of functioning of the Centre are: policy & strategies, human resource development, researches & surveys, regional level awareness & advocacy, networking with collaborating partners and operational of SAARC Supranational Reference Laboratory for TB and HIV/AIDS, sharing of knowledge, technical documents, best practices and information through its impactful activities. The Centre’s activities are recommended by the Governing Boards and approved by the Programming Committees of SAARC.

In order to End TB, the Governments of Bhutan, India and Maldives have set their  targets before the global deadline and Governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka have also fixed the targets inline the Global target.  The COVID19 Pandemic has become a threat and challenges for all national programmes and has impacted the Goal and targets determined under the Strategic Plans. The STAC has initiated some studies to minimize COVID 19’s  impact on the programmes, which will provide insight for further initiatives and
corrective actions to be taken at the regional and national level.

With voluntary contributions, the Governments of Bangladesh, India and Nepal, the SAARC Regional Reference Laboratory for TB and HIV/AIDS is going to become operational very soon. The aim of this laboratory is
to promote scientific research, to build up skilled workforce by useful timely trainings, quality assurance of technologies of SAARC Member States laboratories and to build up an organism bank for future endeavor.

I would also like to sincerely thank and appreciate the support and cooperation provided by the Managers of National TB  Programmes and National HIV/AIDS programmes of, Governing Board Members as well as
Ministries of Health, Foreign/External Affairs SAARC Member States, SAARC Secretariat and collaborating partners and I strongly believe that the such cooperation and support will  continue for future activities and initiatives of the Centre.

Finally, I will be grateful for your valuable suggestions, feedback and guidance that might be helpful to achieve our desired goals.

Dr. Anup Bastola

Director

Copyright © 2015-2022, SAARC TB and HIV/AIDS Centre. All rights reserved.

 

Message of H.E. Secretary General-SAARC-on the occasion World TB Day 2022

“Invest to End TB. Save Lives.”   

Every Year, the World TB Day is observed on 24 March to commemorate the discovery of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis by Dr. Robert Koch in 1882. This Day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness; sensitize communities for broader commitment from all stakeholders; and gather support from various collaborating partners for the fight against this menace.

TB is still a leading infectious killer disease despite a substantial investment for its treatment and prevention. The major causes for high cases of TB are rapid urbanization, high-density of population, air pollution (indoor and outdoor) and migration with drastically rising incidences of diabetes, escalating drug resistance, and an unregulated private health sector. Similarly, social determinants of health, such as education, employment, social support, family income and nutrition, also augment the TB incidence.

While we are still battling with COVID-19, many parts of the SAARC region are facing severe economic and social situations. This has adversely affected anti-TB activities of the Member States. There are funding gaps for TB activities, which are further exacerbated by economic setbacks triggered by the pandemic, while additional funding is required to build back effectively from its adverse impacts. The theme chosen by the World Health Organization for this year’s World TB Day, “Invest to End TB. Save
Lives.” is, therefore, very significant.

I congratulate the SAARC Tuberculosis and HIVIAIDS Centre (STAC) for facilitating the regional campaign to control TB through active involvement of the National Programmes of the Member States of SAARC, which have adopted WHO,s Global Stop TB Partnership strategy, envisioning a TB-free world by 2030.However, the national strategic plans have also been adversely affected by COVID-19, leading to an increase in TB mortality, and a decline in the number of people diagnosed and treated for TB, thereby affecting the rights of people with TB.

Though the recent achievements of the Member States in TB control are encour agrng, there is a greater need to ensure effective implementation of TB control activities by investing resources to achieve the 2030 target. I am confident that the esteemed Member States will make every endeavor in this respect.

Kathmandu, 24 March 2022

By : -Esala Ruwan Weerakoon

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