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UN Secretary Emphasize Action Against Tuberculosis

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to join the anti-tuberculosis global plan, which would save 14 million lives in coming years as// the disease has become extremely drug-resistant.

Ban's message aimed at stressing the importance of World TB Day on Saturday. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported about the rise in the extensively drug resistant strain of tuberculosis, XDR-TB, which threatens to derail efforts to bring the global epidemic of ordinary TB under control.

"To highlight the grave public health threat and the need for a stepped up response, I have joined many other world leaders in signing the 'Call to Stop TB'," Ban said Friday. "I hope that more will do the same."

"But we must give life to the pledge we have signed," he said.

The global plan, running from 2006 to 2015, was laid out with the hope it would save 14 million people from death from tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis kills an estimated 4,400 people every day, with more people diagnosed with it every single day, the UN said.

While it reported of new drug-resistant strain, WHO said tuberculosis cases may have peaked and death rates were declining, thanks to years of campaigns to fight the diseases.

WHO said health campaigns helped to detect 60 percent of all cases and most of them have been cured. It said 26 million patients were put under effective tuberculosis treatments in the past decade.

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