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U.N. chief calls for push against TB

March 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Saturday called for a global effort to diagnose and treat tuberculosis.

Ban spoke on World Tuberculosis Day, an annual event to raise awareness of the disease.

The United Nations says almost 9 million people worldwide were diagnosed with TB in 2010 and 1.4 million died of the disease, almost all of them in underdeveloped countries. An estimated 200 children die every day from TB.

Experts say TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as a killer of adults.

"I call for intensified global solidarity to ensure that all people are free from fear of tuberculosis and its devastating effects," Ban said. "Let us vow to end the neglect of TB and to end deaths from this disease in our lifetime."

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that generally affects the lungs.

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