We must work together, and we must act together; we must act now.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has called on countries across the world to cooperate in breaking the vicious cycle of tuberculosis (TB) and poverty.

She made the call during a side event on TB on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, according to a written statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday.

At the event, she explained that poverty is a "breeding ground" for TB, while TB can also cause people to slide into poverty.

"Ending TB is an investment for development," she stressed.

According to the minister, families cured of TB can revive and carry out economic activities productively and regain at least 50 percent of lost income.

Therefore, vulnerable communities must be assisted by bolstering community resilience, improving access to health services, and improving awareness of TB, among others, so that they can break free from the vicious cycle of TB, she said.

Marsudi highlighted that TB is still posing a serious threat to the world's communities, and every year, around 1.6 million people in the world die of the disease.

The minister noted that TB also represents global inequality given how it is growing more rampant in developing countries.

She then called for collective investment in new TB vaccine development.

"Breakthrough development on TB vaccine should be our common goal," she said at the event, which was organized by the Ministry of Health of Indonesia, the Ministry of Health of Poland, and the Stop TB Partnership.

According to a recent study by Harvard University, a new and effective TB vaccine in low- and middle-income countries could lead to potential health and economic benefits worth billions of dollars, she highlighted.
Marsudi then reminded the valuable lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, when a shared view on the coronavirus emergency had a positive impact.

"The world awaits the day when we can finally call TB a relic of the past. We must work together, and we must act together; we must act now," she said.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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