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Margaret Chan & WHO: Don't steal TB award from Tibetan refugees

This petition had 2,204 supporters

Tibetans in exile have one of the highest rates of tuberculosis in the world. Their status as refugees – which causes poverty, malnutrition, over-crowding and migration – exacerbates this problem. The abnormal rate of TB among Tibetans is directly linked to China's oppression in Tibet which turned the Tibetans into refugees in the first place. Ironically, China's political meddling is now stopping these very Tibetans from curing their TB problem!

The Delek Hospital, a leading medical institution in India that treats thousands of TB patients, was to be awarded the $65,000 Kochon Prize by the Stop-TB Partnership for its outstanding work. The award only needed the approval of WHO as a formality. However, days before the award was to be presented to Dr. Tseten Sadutsang and Dr. Kunchok Dorjee, Chinese diplomats stormed into the offices of Stop-TB Partnership and objected to the award. Then for the first time since the founding of the award, the WHO refused to give its approval.

The theme for the 2013 Kochon Prize is 'TB in conflict and refugee areas.' As refugees who escaped political and religious oppression at home, Tibetans in exile fit the category perfectly. There is no organization more fit to receive this award than the Delek Hospital, which has saved hundreds of lives in the Tibetan refugee community and the local Indian community.

As Mark Harrington of the Treatment Action Group said to the Wall Street Journal, "It's a violation of the mission of the prize to deny an award to a program that is saving the lives of a huge number of poor people."

The WHO must stop holding public health hostage to politics. Please help us to pressure the WHO to release the Kochon Prize from the clutches of the Chinese government, and give Tibetan refugees a chance to stop TB.



Wall Street Journal: 

Tibetan Political Review:

NOTE: This petition is a citizen initiative but we thank the following groups for their endorsement of the campaign. If your organization would like to add your endorsement, please write to

Tibetan Women's Association
Initiatives for China / Citizen Power for China
US Tibet Committee
Students for a Free Tibet
Delek Hospital
Tibetan Political Review
Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NYNJ
Tibetan National Congress
Ithaca Tibetan Association
Tibetan Association of Idaho
Capital Area Tibetan Association
Lhakar Blog
Lhakar Diaries

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