WHO urges stepped up battle against drug-resistant TB

Mar 23, 2011

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday urged donors to stamp out multidrug-resistant tuberculosis after the number of the hard-to-treat strains of the lung disease doubled in recent years.

In a progress report to mark World TB Day on Thursday, the WHO and partner agencies estimated that the number of new cases of MDR tuberculosis would reach two million between 2011 and 2015 if it is left unchecked.

"MDR-TB is a threat to all countries as it is difficult and expensive to treat," said Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and .

"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," he added in a statement.

The WHO estimated that $900 million would be needed over the next four years to reach the target of treating one million people with such strains. Some 50,000 people are currently receiving treatment.

In 2009, 9.4 million people became ill with all types of and 1.7 million died of the disease, according to the WHO.

An estimated 440,000 cases of MDR-TB occurred in 2008, the last year for which data was available, including 150,000 deaths.

"Despite all the progress that has been made, the response is far from sufficient," warned Mario Raviglione, head of the UN health agency's Stop TB campaign.

MDR-TB fails to respond to standard anti-tuberculosis drugs, making it much more complex and costly to treat and increasing the threat that it will spread much more widely especially in poorer environments where it thrives.

Rifat Atun of the Global Fund said the number of "has doubled in recent years" and were continuing to progress.

Explore further: Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WHO: Money, drugs needed to rein in new TB strains

Mar 23, 2009

(AP) -- More money and better science are urgently needed to rein in new strains of tuberculosis that are tough or nearly impossible to treat, the WHO announced Monday in China, where the disease has long been a leading ...

Drug-resistant tuberculosis rife in China

Dec 11, 2008

Levels of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in China are nearly twice the global average. Nationwide research published in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases has shown that almost 10% of Chinese TB cases are re ...

Computer model shows US vulnerable to MDR-TB epidemic

Sep 27, 2010

While the U.S. has made great progress in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, the nation has become more susceptible to potential epidemics of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), according a study led by ...

Tuberculosis most deadly of 'neglected' diseases

May 18, 2010

More than nine out of ten cases of tuberculosis, which kills 1.8 million people each year, could be averted by 2050 with better testing, drugs and vaccines, according to a major review released Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

18 hours ago

Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

In Liberia, Ebola steals Christmas

18 hours ago

The Ebola epidemic has cast a dark shadow over Christmas this year in Liberia, where small businesses are especially feeling the pinch.

Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

Dec 25, 2014

A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.