TB fight goes dry

The current goals of the U.S. Global Health Initiative and funding shortfalls are putting a strain on the global fight against tuberculosis, says John Fawcett of anti-poverty NGO Results.

Fawcett, legislative director for Results, said the U.S. Lantos-Hyde Act of 2008 called for a bold plan to treat 4.5 million new TB patients and 90,000 patients with multidrug-resistant TB in a span of five years. But the GHI has “curtailed” these goals to only 2.6 million new TB patients and 57,000 patients with MDR in six years’ time.

At current funding levels, and with President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for 2013 cutting some $18 million for TB, Fawcett says it is “unlikely” for the United States to meet even the GHI’s reduced goals. The cutbacks also impede progress in the development of new vaccines, tests and other TB-related services.

TB is a curable disease. Despite this, it claims 1.45 million lives every year and is the second-largest infectious killer of adults. It is also the leading killer of people with HIV and AIDS.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.