URUGWIRO VILLAGE - The former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, has called upon President Paul Kagame, to lead the cause of eliminating Tuberculosis on the African continent.
Speaking to journalists after paying a courtesy call on President Kagame, at Urugwiro Village, Sampaio, who is the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to stop Tuberculosis, said that having led a successful battle against HIV/AIDS in the last 15 years, President Kagame is more capable of championing the fight against TB, a disease that continues to kill thousands of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Rwanda has demonstrated the capacity to deal with epidemics. The efforts are really appreciated. It has led the way in establishing a good healthcare system. TB and HIV/AIDS have been tackled profoundly and we think Rwanda can be a case study for the rest of the continent,” Sampaio said.
A renowned European statesman, Sampaio, who led Portugal for 10 years to 2006, said that Rwanda’s remarkable progress for the last 15 years, particularly in the health sector, should be attributed to good governance and the will of the people.
The former president who also heads the UN Alliance for Civilisations, an initiative aimed at creating a global dialogue and harmony between the people, said that Rwanda’s tremendous reconstruction journey since the 1994 Genocide can serve as a good case study in the initiative.
He invited Kagame to join and support the initiative founded in 2005 to forge good relations between different societies and races.
Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera, said that Sampaio will continue to lobby for more support from WHO and UN to fight TB in Rwanda.
TB continues to kill thousands of people on the African continent and according to research done by WHO, it is more prevalent in people infected with HIV/ AIDS.
WHO and UN have launched different initiatives against the disease, some of which Rwanda is a beneficiary.
Scientists say the threat of TB is expanding and the forecasts suggest that 35 million deaths could be registered in the next 20 years if nothing is done.