Award for Tibetan fight against TB caught in politics

PhayuThursday, November 28, 2013

DHARAMSHALA, November 28 – The World Health Organization has objected to the Tibetan Tuberculosis Control Program of the Tibetan Delek Hospital to be awarded this year’s ‘Kochon Prize’, a prestigious honor for major contributions to the fight against TB, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dr. Tsetan Sadutshang, the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital, was told last month by the Stop TB Partnership, an international body that is housed at the WHO, that his program had been chosen a winner. The program, however, was not given the award after the WHO director-general Margaret Chan didn’t approve the choice for the program’s links to the Tibetan government-in-exile. According to people close to the selection process, the director-general of the World Health Organization must approve the winner.

Based at a hospital in Dharamsala, India, at the foot of the Himalayas, the Tibetan Tuberculosis Control Program treats Tibetans in exile as well as Indian patients. Despite high rates of TB and drug-resistant TB in the community, the program says 93% of its patients in 2012 were either confirmed cured or were well after their treatment ended….(…)

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