G20London, 10 July 2017: TB Europe Coalition embraces the G20 Leaders’ commitment to tackle drug resistant infections, including drug resistant tuberculosis – an ever-increasing threat in the WHO Europe region.

This year’s Summit in Hamburg 7-8 July, was the first year that the G20 Leaders have ever discussed health. The German G20 presidency highlighted antimicrobial resistance alongside pandemic preparedness and health systems strengthening on the agenda. The G20 communiqué not only highlighted the need to “foster research and development” for WHO priority pathogens as well as tuberculosis but also called for a new international R&D Collaboration Hub to maximise the impact of research into drug resistant infections.

“As someone who survived drug resistant TB, I am very happy to hear about the commitment of G20 Leaders to address research and development for new treatment and diagnostics tools for drug resistance, especially for TB. We need better drugs and better diagnostics to ensure that treatment for TB puts people first, especially in countries that often do not have even scarce resources to invest in medical research. This is an area where G20 commitment can make real difference”, said Safar Naimov, TB Europe Coalition member and Secretary of STOP TB Partnership, Tajikistan.

The G20 commitment is especially important for the WHO Europe region, which includes five of the Group of 20 countries. The WHO Europe region has the world’s highest rates of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), accounting for over 20% of all the drug resistant cases in the world. Progress has not been fast enough to handle the growing crisis and forms of the disease to which there are no or little treatment options available are also increasingly common, with over 2,000 cases of XDR-TB notified in 2015.

Rachael Crockett, TB Europe Coalition said: “Historically TB has received very little political attention. This year’s G20 Summit has provided an opportunity to break the mould and transform the lives of millions of people around the world for generations to come. But, with high rates of drug resistant TB in our region we cannot stop here. A declaration is worth only as much as the paper it’s written on. We must translate these words into action.”

The next 18 months present a number of opportunities for global action on tuberculosis, starting with the Global Ministerial Conference on ending TB in the sustainable development era in Moscow in November, the Argentinian G20, followed by the first ever UN High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in 2018.

Rachael Crockett concluded: “TB kills more people every year than any other infectious disease. It is clear that the status quo isn’t providing the world what we need. Combined, these events could see significant progress on political and financial commitments made to ending TB. Smart, capacitated civil society will be critical to seizing the opportunities in front of us.”

Notes to the Editor
For more information:
Rachael Crockett
TB Policy Officer, TB Europe Coalition, RESULTS UK
+44(0) 7891056651

Rachael.crockett@results.org.uk

The TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) is a network of civil society representatives advocating for an increase in political and financial commitments required to effectively end the tuberculosis epidemic. The network covers individuals and organisations from EU/EEA countries, Eastern Europe and other neighbouring countries, Central Asia and the Russian Federation. It is the only stakeholder directly involved in coordinating and strengthening civil society’s response to TB on a national and regional level.


1. ECDC, WHO/Europe, (2017), Surveillance report Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe 2017, (Online), Sweden, Available at: goo.gl/UtynTo
2. Idem.


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