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Press Statement From Dr. Kent Hill, Assistant Administrator for Global Health: Comments on WHO Tuberculosis Global Response Plan

by USAID — last modified Jan 10, 2013 08:03 AM
Contributors: rhessmiller
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - On behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), I commend the STOP TB Partnership and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the launch of their recent "The Global MDR TB & XDR TB Response Plan 2007-2008" and reaffirm USAID's commitment to fight the multi drug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB).

Drug resistant TB represents a serious threat to our recent progress in global TB control. The new plan provides a clear set of priorities for what needs to be done, and describes the resources required to combat resistant strains of TB. USAID focuses on building strong TB programs at the country level, which is the most important intervention to prevent the development of drug resistant TB. At the same time, USAID is addressing the emerging threat of XDR TB by stepping up our support to strengthen laboratories to improve case detection, infection control, surveillance and training of health care providers in the diagnosis and treatment of MDR and XDR TB, all key components of the "Global Response Plan."

The U.S. Government through USAID is the leading bilateral donor in the world for TB and supports the expansion and strengthening of TB control in 37 countries. Between 2000 and 2006, USAID provided about $500 million to support TB programs worldwide, with approximately $93 million provided in 2007 to country-level programs, as well as for research on new drugs and diagnostics. Drug resistance surveys, support for global surveillance, and pilot programs to optimize MDR TB treatment have long been funded by USAID. To ensure success in our efforts, USAID works closely with other U.S. Government agencies including the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. In addition, the U.S. Government is the largest single country donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GF), a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities designed to increase resources to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases, and to direct those resources to the areas of greatest need worldwide. The U.S. Government provides approximately one-third of the GF resources and since 2004, the GF has committed a total of $1.4 billion in grants to support TB programs in developing countries.

Tuberculosis is a disease that affects individuals, families and communities. MDR and XDR TB are even more devastating as these strains of TB are more difficult and costly to treat, and sometimes incurable. We are working closely with STOP TB, WHO, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners to implement the plan as fast as possible.

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