In mid-October, the Board Leadership attended the Eastern Mediterranean Region Constituency’s meeting in
Tehran, Iran. It was a truly eye-opening experience to exchange with the representatives from the Region
who work in challenging operating environments every day. Iraq, for example, will face the interruption of all
TB drugs and diagnostics as of mid-2017. The Iraqi government surely has many concerns at the moment,
but, will certainly also be concerned about this TB issue. The GF should also be asking what will happen to
Iraq’s TB sufferers.
The meeting with Iran’s Minister of Health and Deputy Minister for Social Affairs, as well as site visits to
community health centers were inspiring. Despite the sanctions and political regime, the country emphasized
its political will to achieve the goals 90-90-90, and has made such advances in its HIV and TB programs that
some countries in the European Union can only dream about. Romania, for example, will not be able to
ensure full regimen of second-line TB treatments to all of its patients as of November 2016, and is still
dependent on international grants for life-saving medications.
Iran is on the list of 20 countries for malaria elimination. Yet, this goal seems jeopardized due to limited
efforts on cross-border cooperation from the neighboring countries. A regional grant including the three
concerned countries (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan) could help solving this problem.