Multidrug-Resistant TB is an Urgent Public Health CrisisWednesday, October 23, 2013
(New York, USA) –World Lung Foundation (WLF) today welcomed a new report from World Health Organisation (WHO), the Global Tuberculosis Report 2013, which includes calls for more urgent action to stop the spread of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Commenting on the launch of the report, Dr. Neil Schluger, Chief Scientific Officer, World Lung Foundation, said:
“Today is a wake-up call. MDR-TB is an imminent threat to global health and WHO’s new report confirms that view. Based on recorded cases, we know that an average of 3.6 per cent of new cases of TB and 20 per cent of those previously treated for TB have MDR-TB. In fact, the proportion of cases of MDR-TB in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is much higher than that average.
“The report also reveals that less than half of MDR-TB cases identified in 2010 were successfully treated and nearly one in ten cases of MDR-TB is extensively drug-resistant (XDRTB). We are paying the price –literally in terms of the cost of treatment - for not taking MDR-TB seriously enough at an earlier time.
“In this context, it is not hard to see why the cuts to the funding of the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC) have been detrimental to progress. We reiterate our calls for governments, donors, the private sector, pharmaceutical companies and the medical community to inject commitment and funding to stop the potential public health crisis of uncontrolled MDR-TB.”
About World Lung Foundation
World Lung Foundation was established in response to the global epidemic of lung disease, which kills 10 million people each year. The organization also works on maternal and infant mortality reduction initiatives. WLF improves global health by improving local health capacity, by supporting operational research, by developing public policy and by delivering public education. The organization’s areas of emphasis are tobacco control, maternal and infant mortality prevention, tuberculosis, asthma, and child lung health. For more information, please visit worldlungfoundation.org
For more information, please contact Jorge Alday, World Lung Foundation, at +1.212.639.0070