Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping and a goodwill ambassador of the World Health Organization (WHO) for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, addressed a virtual talk show on Thursday organized by the WHO to commemorate the World TB Day.
Peng said that in recent years, thanks to the hard work of the WHO and the joint efforts of the international community, the world has made notable progress in the fight against TB.
She stressed that the Chinese government takes TB prevention and treatment very seriously, and has incorporated it into the Healthy China strategy. Special funds have been set up, free follow-up examinations and anti-TB drugs are provided to patients, and the TB cure rate has been kept above 90 percent, she added.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government and all sectors of society have taken active steps to care for TB patients and ensured their uninterrupted treatment, Peng added.
Peng said that since her participation in the anti-TB endeavor began more than a decade ago, she has visited many medical facilities, schools and communities, and has witnessed millions of medical workers and volunteers serving as defenders of health, through both love and action.
There are more than one million volunteers in China working to raise public awareness of TB prevention and treatment, and to help and support the patients, spreading love and warmth like the spring breeze, Peng said.
She went on to point out that, in spite of the accomplishments made in TB prevention and treatment, the disease remains a global public health issue, posing a serious threat to public health, and COVID-19 has further complicated anti-TB efforts.
"We must rise to the new challenges with confidence, love and tenacity," Peng said.
Expressing the hope that all countries will share their experiences in fighting TB and carry out fruitful cooperation, she urged all parties to take joint and active steps to attain health-related goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as scheduled.