British R&B singer and songwriter Craig David is lending his voice – which has helped him sell more than 13 million albums in more than 20 countries – to the global fight against tuberculosis (TB).

Craig is marking his appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador against tuberculosis for the Stop TB Partnership by participating in events at United Nations Headquarters in New York on World TB Day.

His aim was to raise awareness about TB among his millions of fans worldwide. “Music is a universal language. I believe that through people’s love of music we can increase knowledge and understanding and support people affected by TB. I hope that people who feel inspired by my music will also feel moved by what I have to say about TB,” Craig says.

In many of the countries where Craig David’s music is appreciated, people generally view TB as a disease of the past. Yet 9 million people still became ill with TB and some 1.8 million died of the disease in 2008. Craig also has a massive and loyal following in many African and Asian countries heavily affected by TB.

“Craig can reach people all over the world with messages of hope about our ability to cure TB, and the need to step up the fight against this devastating disease, which causes suffering and death almost everywhere,” says Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. “We are grateful to Craig for his commitment and his belief in this important cause.”

Craig travelled to Cape Town, South Africa earlier this month to learn more about TB. Far from his world of packed concert halls and glittering celebrity events, he visited communities hit hard by TB, schools and a research centre. There he met people on the front lines – people who have beaten the disease, children and teens who face the threat of TB every day and scientists who have dedicated their lives to making TB history.

“It was a life-changing experience for me to hear first-hand what it is like to live in a country where half a million people become ill with TB every year and meet people who are fighting hard and making progress every day,” Craig says.

Craig, a native of Southampton, England, now divides his time between London and Miami. His first mission as Goodwill Ambassador will take him back to South Africa, where he will participate in events surrounding the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Source: WHO

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