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KEY ADVOCACY FACT SHEETS ON TB IN EUROPE RELEASED IN ENGLISH AND RUSSIAN

KEY ADVOCACY FACT SHEETS ON TB IN EUROPE RELEASED IN ENGLISH AND RUSSIAN

Last week’s Union Conference was an excellent opportunity to launch the Regional Collaborating Committee on Tuberculosis Control and Care (RCC-TB)’s three new fact sheets on “Ambulatory TB Care”, “Integrated TB/HIV Care” and “Engaging Civil Society and affected Communities in the Fight against TB”. They are available in both English and Russian and aim to share best practices from the European region on the three topics. The fact sheet on “ Ambulatory TB Care” highlights the added value of outpatient treatment given that TB infectiousness subsides shortly after treatment commences. It maintains that TB treatment must be integrated into primary health care (PHC), with civil society playing an active role in this process. The benefits of ambulatory care are also presented: not only is it far more cost-effective it is also reaps better treatment outcomes. “Integrated TB/HIV care” outlines numerous models which allow for the integration of TB and HIV services. Suggestions include the screening of patients for TB at AIDS clinics and the provision of HIV treatment at facilities catering for TB patients. A concrete example is provided from Portugal where TB and HIV care was integrated successfully in the city of Porto. The fact sheet on “Engaging Civil Society More…

US Government selects Dutch NGO to fight global killer disease

  TB KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation will lead 525 million dollar TB control program. KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV), the Dutch NGO specialized in the fight against tuberculosis, will be the prime partner for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in their new five year flagship program ‘Challenge TB’. International consortium The eight partners that are teaming up with KNCV in the Challenge TB consortium are American Thoracic Society (ATS), FHI 360, Interactive Research & Development (IRD), The Union, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA), Management Sciences for Health, (MSH), PATH and the WHO. KNCV will lead the program from its headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. The organization has been committed to fighting TB since its establishment in 1903, combining technical know-how, research and sustainable implementation. The Netherlands government recognizes the importance of TB control and the unique part that Dutch organizations like KNCV play in it. The Netherlands contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and welcome initiatives such as Challenge TB, because they enhance the impact of the Global Fund and an integrated approach to HIV/AIDS and TB control. KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation has an established presence in Central Asia. Among the organisation’s achievemnets were: piloting More…

A New Bill on TB Control Finalized in Romania

A New Bill on TB Control Finalized in Romania

The Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation and the Association for MDR-TB Patients’ Support finalized the elaboration of the bill on the TB control in Romania. Among the main provisions of the bill are the following: psycho-social services for TB patients; universal access to treatment and DOT; paid medical leave and allowance for temporary incapacity of labour during all treatment duration for all patients, irrespectively of their contribution to social fund; monthly food allowance for the entire duration of the treatment, etc. On 30th September, 2014, at a press conference attended by Dr. Alexandru Rafila – Counselor of the Minister of Health, the latter stated that the Ministry of Health supported the bill and would propose it to the Government as a law initiative. However, the Romanian TB advocates are aware that there is a long way from this statement to the enactment of the bill by the Parliament, and they continue to advocate for more support of the new bill. Please feel free to disseminate this message to as many as possible people. Romanian organisations are calling for a support of the new draft bill in convincing the Romanian Government and Parliament to pass this bill as soon as possible. You More…

A Round Table on TB Determinants Held in Ukraine by the TBEC Member Group

A Round Table on TB Determinants Held in Ukraine by the TBEC Member Group

On October 2, 2014, the Public Movement ‘The Ukrainians Against TB’ has held a round table ‘Political, Economic, Social, Medical, Cultural and other Determinants of TB Epidemic in Ukraine’. The event was held at the premises of the International Renaissance Foundation. The goal of the round table was to bring together key TB experts from the state, non-governmental, academic, medical and other sectors of the society, representatives of donor organisations, mass media, to discuss the current determinants of the TB epidemic in Ukraine and develop recommendations to reform the state policy on TB and other socially dangerous diseases. This discussion was part of series of activities aimed at enabling a more effective national response to TB and other socially dangerous diseases, on the basis of multi-sectoral cooperation and multi-sectoral responsibility, with the anticipated outcome – the introduction of the legislative initiatives into the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and lobbying the adoption of the legislative acts by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.   Among others, following topics were discussed at the round table: – Groups of high risk to TB, their size estimates, defining criteria for defining risk groups, – TB prevention among groups of risk as a part of More…

TB in Romania: mapping the needs

TB in Romania: mapping the needs

The Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation and the Association for MDR-TB Patients Support conducted in February – March a survey among Romanian TB and MDR-TB patients, their families and specialists working in the field, in order to pinpoint the patients’ social, psychological and medical needs. The survey report was published in June and it shows the main needs reported by patients or identified by the professionals who work with them.  Context In 2013, more than 15,000 cases of tuberculosis (TB) have been diagnosed in Romania. According to the statistics provided by the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP), 30,000 people with TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB were under treatment in Romania in 2011, of which 65% were men. Under-diagnosis of patients with resistant tuberculosis combined with high estimates of the number of such cases is perhaps the most serious problems the Romanian system of tuberculosis prevention and control is facing today. According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 800 new MDR/XDR-TB cases should be diagnosed annually in Romania, but in reality only about 400 new cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) are identified. In the context of a severe underfunding of the National Tuberculosis Programme, More…

Parliamentarians from across Europe, and beyond, call for urgent action on TB

Parliamentarians from across Europe, and beyond, call for urgent action on TB

In an unprecedented demonstration of support for a single global health issue, over 150 parliamentary representatives from across the G7 and European Parliament have released a statement calling for a renewed global commitment to “drive down rates of TB across the world and to accelerate progress towards ending TB as a threat to global public health”. Every year, TB kills 1.3 million people. Long considered eradicated in the West, it remains a threat to public health all around the world. In Europe, the disease continues to cause suffering for hundreds of thousands and can lead to catastrophic economic losses. It was estimated last year that the disease cost the European Union €5.9 billion per year in lost productivity and direct treatment costs. Of particular concern is the development of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), some strains of which are practically impossible to treat. DR-TB is particular problem in our region. In 2012, there were an estimated 74,000 cases of multidrug-resistant TB in the WHO European Region. Despite making up just 13 percent of the global population the region accounts for nearly a quarter of the global MDR-TB burden. Fifteen of the 27 high MDR-TB burden countries worldwide are located in the region. These include five EU More…

PRESS RELEASE: No time to lose for the EU: Drug-resistant TB is a regional threat

PRESS RELEASE: No time to lose for the EU: Drug-resistant TB is a regional threat

On World Tuberculosis Day 2014, the TB Europe Coalition calls on European Union institutions to recognise multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) as a cross border health threat and to provide regional political leadership in the fight against MDR-TB in the European Region. “TB does not respect national boundaries. In a globalised world and an integrated EU, failure to respond to the upswing in drug resistance in the region will have grave repercussions,” said Claudiu Tănăsescu, Romanian Member of the European Parliament (MEP). TB is an ancient disease that continues to kill 1.3 million people every year. The spread of its drug-resistant forms, including some that are completely incurable, represents a serious threat to the control of the disease, especially in the European region. Last year alone, the World Health Organisation reported an estimated 74,000 cases of MDR-TB in the region, accounting for almost a quarter of all drug-resistant TB cases worldwide. MDR-TB does not respond to the standard TB treatment, which means it is much more costly and difficult to treat – in some cases, drug-resistant TB can cost 100 times more to treat than a normal case of TB. Many governments in the region often do not have the resources or More…

EVENT: Tuberculosis: How is Europe responding to the new challenge?

EVENT: Tuberculosis: How is Europe responding to the new challenge?

To mark World TB Day this year, on 20th March 2014 European Voice is organising what promises to be an interesting debate on Europe’s response to multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB): Tuberculosis is back, and it can be more deadly than before. Over the last half century, therapies have contained TB, and vaccination programmes and better health management and hygiene have controlled it. But strained social conditions and deficiencies in health infrastructure are limiting the effectiveness of the customary approaches, in Europe and beyond. And new highly resistant variants are emerging that current therapies cannot treat. Treatment effectiveness is relatively low with only around a third of confirmed cases having successful outcomes after 24 months. So new answers are needed – new therapies that offer shorter and easier to follow treatments for classic TB, new therapies to combat the new variants, new vaccines to provide better protection, faster and more accurate diagnostics, more effective and comprehensive data collection and monitoring… The answers are needed urgently. This is a disease that is already making new inroads in Europe – and particularly in eastern Europe. It is exploiting new channels of transmission, through trade, travel, and migration. This is why EV is organising an event on 20 March under the title “Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis: how More…

Stop TB Partnership launches a call for proposals

Stop TB Partnership launches a call for proposals

The Stop TB Partnership has today announced a call for proposals for the sixth round of Challenge Facility for Civil Society (CFCS) grants. The CFCS is an instrument to promote the role of communities in National TB Programmes, other platforms and initiatives, especially in countries supported by the Global Fund. It supports civil society organisations in their efforts to ensure that the challenges faced by communities and vulnerable groups affected by tuberculosis are addressed in national strategies and plans developed to fight TB. Successful applicants, which must be civil society organizations focusing on some of the Global Fund processes – country dialogue, national strategic planning and the new funding model – in their countries, will receive grants between US $ 5000 and US$ 20 000. Applications should focus on creating a greater voice for people suffering from TB – especially those from key affected populations and vulnerable groups –  in key national bodies such as the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanisms; and implementing activities that build the capacity of civil society to speak out about challenges and solutions in reaching affected communities with TB care and support. The Challenge Facility will be accepting applications from 10 December 2013 until 15 More…

European Parliament approve EU Budget and R&D Programme for 2014-2020

European Parliament approve EU Budget and R&D Programme for 2014-2020

After months of ongoing negotiations, the European Parliament formally approved two central pieces of legislation for the European Union this week. Deals were reached both on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF – or the EU Budget) and for Horizon 2020 (the EU’s programme for research and innovation). The MFF for 2014-2020 totals about €960 billion, which, in real terms, is €34 billion less than compared to the previous financial period (2007-2013). Of particular concern for us is the news that ‘Heading 4’ – this is the category under which development spending falls – has experienced an overall cut of 16% compared to the European Commission’s initial proposal. The EU instrument for development assistance – the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) was reduced to €17.36 billion. Despite these overall cuts for 2014-2020, for the 2014 budget the European Parliament did approve an increase for the DCI. Moreover, they made sure that at least 20% of appropriations of the DCI should be used for basic social services and that there must be the creation of a separate budget line for Human Development. This will mention sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other poverty related diseases. The Horizon 2020 programme which finances More…

European Commission announces call for proposals for research into TB vaccine

European Commission announces call for proposals for research into TB vaccine

The European Commission has today made a call for proposals that are working towards the development of vaccine for tuberculosis. The call is for preclinical and early clinical research into a TB vaccine and is worth up to €25 million. We have posted details of the call below but you can also access the information here. Vaccine development for poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases: Tuberculosis Specific challenge: Vaccines offer a safe and cost-effective way to protect large populations against infectious diseases, or at least to mitigate the clinical course of these diseases. Yet many poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases continue to escape attempts to develop effective vaccines against them. Disappointing results of recent clinical trials point to bottlenecks in identifying viable candidate vaccines, which if unaddressed will continue to present significant risks of failure at relatively late stages of the development process. The specific challenge will be to shift this ‘risk curve’ in order better to select successful vaccine candidates (and discard those with a higher risk of failure) at an earlier stage of the vaccine development process. Scope: Proposals should focus on strengthening the capacity for discovery and early development of new vaccine candidates for tuberculosis by addressing all More…

TB civil society demand zero TB deaths, new infections, suffering and stigma!

TB civil society demand zero TB deaths, new infections, suffering and stigma!

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease started off with a bang today in Paris as civil society actors stormed the stage demanding faster progress towards eliminating TB and a target of zero TB deaths. The group of advocates brought so much needed energy and, importantly, some much needed urgency to the room as they called for greater ambition in the work done in attempting to eliminate tuberculosis. TB Europe Coalition members were at the forefront of the mobilisation, with representatives from Moldova, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, France, Belgium, the UK and the Ukraine all taking to the stage to make their voices heard and make their national representatives take note. After advocates from across Europe, Central Asia and from most corners of the world had stormed the stage, Colleen Daniels from Treatment Action Group made an impassioned speech challenging those in the room to aim higher in the fight against TB. More ambition, like that is seen in the HIV community, is critical in order to get to: zero TB deaths, zero new TB infections, zero suffering and stigma. The mobilisation ended with the audience taking to their feet and applauding to the calls for zero TB deaths. More…

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