WHO: Global fight against TB remains fragileListen /
A major shortfall in funding is threatening to stall global efforts to treat and prevent the spread of tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The organization says an additional US$ 4.4 billion is needed over the next three years to fund TB control measures including the research and development of new drugs.
In its annual Global TB report WHO says although there has been a steady decline in the number of people contracting TB, the disease remains a major global health burden with 8.7 million new TB cases reported in 2011.
India and China together account for almost 40 per cent of the world’s TB cases while the African region has 24 per cent of the cases.
Dr Philippe Glaziou is with the Stop TB Department at WHO.
"We feature in our report the success of Cambodia, a country back 10 years ago had one of the highest rates of TB in the world and which has achieved a 45 per cent decline in the burden of TB in only nine years. The research pipeline shows very strong promises of medical breakthrough from new drugs the first in 40 years, which could be on the market as early as next year, also 11 vaccine candidates. More investments are needed. The funding gap threatens to hold back delivery of prevention and care and to slow down innovation. We are now at crossroads between the elimination of TB in this lifetime or millions of avoidable deaths in the coming several years." (Duration: 38")