On World Tuberculosis Day (March 24), the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Stop TB Partnership are urging countries with rapidly expanding economies and many cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB, to boost domestic financing and commitment toward fighting the disease.
Several countries with the highest burden of MDR-TB have demonstrated progress in fighting the disease and providing care to patients. However, more work is needed to prevent the disease from spreading and provide universal access to MDR-TB care by 2015, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, citing the findings of a new WHO report.
The Global Fund is expected to shoulder 84 percent of all international investments in tuberculosis prevention and treatment in 2011 but more domestic and international resources need to be mobilized to adequately respond to MDR-TB and eradicate tuberculosis altogether, the three partner organizations said.
“MDR-TB is a threat to all countries as it is difficult and expensive to treat. Unless we make an extraordinary effort to tackle this problem our ability to finance and secure continued progress against TB in general will be threatened,” Michel Kazatchkine, Global Fund’s executive director, said as quoted in a news release.
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