WHO: Global tuberculosis report 2013

WHO: Global tuberculosis report 2013
–       Gains in tuberculosis control at risk due to 3 million missed patients and drug resistance
–       Progress in TB control can be substantially accelerated by addressing these challenges

Excerpt from media release
…The new data confirm that the world is on track to meet the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reversing TB incidence, along with the target of a 50% reduction in the mortality rate by 2015 (compared to 1990). A special “Countdown to 2015” supplement to this year’s report provides full information on the progress to the international TB targets. It details if the world and countries with a high burden of TB are “on-track” or “off-track” and what can be done rapidly to accelerate impact as the 2015 deadline approaches.

Key challenges
The report underlines the need for a quantum leap in TB care and control which can only be achieved if two major challenges are addressed.
–       Missing 3 million – around three million people (equal to one in three people falling ill with TB) are currently being ‘missed’ by health systems.
–       Drug-resistant TB crisis – the response to test and treat all those affected by multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is inadequate.

Insufficient resources for TB are at the heart of both challenges. TB programmes do not have the capacity to find and care for people who are “hard-to-reach”, often outside the formal or state health system. Weak links in the TB chain (a chain that includes detection, treatment and care) lead to such people being missed…

…Five priority actions
The WHO report recommends five priority actions that could make a rapid difference between now and 2015.
–       Reach the 3 million TB cases missed in national notification systems by expanding access to quality testing and care services across all relevant public, private or community based providers, including hospitals and NGOs which serve large proportions of populations at risk.
–       Address with urgency the MDR-TB crisis. Failure to test and treat all those ill with MDR-TB carries public health risks and grave consequences for those affected. High-level political commitment, ownership by all stakeholders, adequate financing and increased cooperation are needed to solve bottlenecks in drug supply and build capacity to deliver quality care.
–       Intensify and build on TB-HIV successes to get as close as possible to full antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage for people co-infected with TB and HIV.
–       Increase domestic and international financing to close the resource gaps – now estimated at about US$ 2 billion per year – for an effective response to TB in low- and middle-income countries. Full replenishment of the Global Fund is essential, given that most low-income countries rely heavily on international donor funding, with the Global Fund providing around 75% of financial resources in these countries.
–       Accelerate rapid uptake of new tools – through technology transfer and operational research to ensure that countries and communities most at risk benefit from these innovations.