Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stop TB Partnership Releases Global Plan

Worldwide 9 million people become sick with active TB and 2 million die from it each year; however, yesterday the WHO-hosted Stop TB Partnership released a Global Plan to address the gaps in TB research and to provide new approaches for diagnosis and treatment, including a new rapid TB test.

Over the next five years, the plan, if fully funded by international donors, could cut TB deaths in half. While TB is curable, the current treatment requires that the patient take a combination of drugs for six months. There is still no vaccine to prevent the most common form of the disease, pulmonary TB, and there are many instances of drug-resistance TB. In most countries, labs are still using old methods of diagnostics. The new Global Plan is supposed to address these issues. The Director-General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, believes that the new Global Plan, if fulfilled, will save 10 million lives. There is still a funding gap for this initiative; however, if international donors fill this gap, great progress could be made towards controlling TB.

To learn more about the Stop TB Partnership please go to their website.

-Kelli Hanson