UN health agency hails multi-million dollar funding to fight TB pandemic
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today welcomed new multi-million dollar commitments to fight the global scourge of tuberculosis (TB) while calling for urgent action to fight the disease, which kills 2 million people every year.
The United Kingdom announced it will give $74 million to help fight TB in India, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it would triple funding for the disease to more than $900 million by 2015.
“This funding from the UK government and from the Gates Foundation shows real, long-term commitment to the global effort to stop tuberculosis,” said Dr. Lee Jong-wook, WHO Director-General.
Announcement of the two funding commitments follows publication of the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis which sets out the steps that are needed to tackle a disease that infects 8 million each year. The plan, prepared by the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership, calls for global spending on TB to triple over the next ten years to increase access to tuberculosis control programmes and accelerate research on new tools to fight the disease.
“The global TB action plan shows clearly what must be done to tackle the burden of TB. We must now act urgently to raise all the funds needed to put the plan into action,” Dr. Lee added.
Key objectives of the Global Plan include improving access to treatment in order to prevent 14 million deaths and provide treatment to 50 million people; developing and distributing new drugs and a new, safe and affordable vaccine; and developing new efficient, effective and affordable diagnostic tests.
WHO is a partner in the Stop TB Partnership, which was established in 2000. The partnership secretariat is hosted by WHO in Geneva.