With time fast approaching till the 2015 deadline to meet the targets of both the MDGs and Global Plan to Stop TB, it is becoming ever clearer the urgent need for action for the approximate 4 million people whose TB goes undetected each year. With this in mind, an exciting development this week has been the launch of Round 11 of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, urging countries to take action and submit proposals for future funding to tackle the three diseases. The timing could not be better.
On the launch of Round 11, Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership commented,
“Thinking of TB, I hope we all realize that there is urgent business at hand. We need to push the boundaries and scale up rapidly. We have to reach the approximately 4 million people whose TB goes undetected each year (most of them belonging to vulnerable groups). We need to rapidly improve access to diagnosis and high-quality treatment for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) as we cannot allow nearly 400 000 per year people to go without MDR care.
We know what it will take to save a million lives among people living with HIV between now and 2015 by using tried and tested approaches to preventing and treating TB. But we need to scale up and make sure that the TB/HIV interventions are included in TB proposals and, more importantly, in HIV proposals! We know that over five years adequate TB interventions will save the lives of 200 000 children and more than 1.5 million women of childbearing age.”
Round 11 provides a unique and timely opportunity to move forward in the fight against global tuberculosis and presents an exciting way to be able to address the needs and care of millions of people, uncessarily dying from TB, a treatable and curable disease.