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Posts tagged "EU"
Call for Tenders n°Chafea/2016/Health/34, concerning the study of the socio-economic impacts of potential HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STIs and TB

Call for Tenders n°Chafea/2016/Health/34, concerning the study of the socio-economic impacts of potential HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STIs and TB

Dear colleagues, The new version of the call for tender n°Chafea/2016/Health/34, concerning the study of the socio-economic impacts of potential HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmissible infections and tuberculosis was published. The main purpose of this contract is to carry out a study and produce a report in order to collect evidence and provide an assessment of the socio-economic impact of existing and future EU-level policy initiatives on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmissible infections (STI) and tuberculosis. Please promote to the your networks partners, in particular to those working in burden of diseases and cost analysis. Deadline: 18 September 2017 To view the details please click here. Thanks for your active collaboration. This blog is the product of an activity that has received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of this blog represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information More…

The TB Europe Coalition delegation visited Latvia

The TB Europe Coalition delegation visited Latvia

On 15th – 18th September 2015, three members of the TB Europe Coalition visited Latvia in order to conduct a TB Advocacy workshop, reach to civil society actors in the one of the TB high-priority countries in the EU, and strengthen their voice in a fight against tuberculosis (TB) in the country. The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Latvia (CDPC) and co-financed by the European Commission. Latvia with an estimated population of 2.35 million has consistently ranked among the countries with the highest rates of MDR-TB in the world. TB incidence in Latvia has decreased from 74/100,000 in 1998 to 31.8/100,000 cases in 2014. In absolute numbers this means 637 new TB cases in 2014 (Chart 1). Incidence of MDR TB cases has also decreased over the years from 332 cases in 1997 to 63 in 2014 (Chart 2). However, Latvia is among the 27 high MDR-TB burden countries in the world and the number of people belonging to social groups at risk of TB is increasing. Among new TB cases, 10% developed MDR-TB and among retreated cases this rises to 26%. Co-infection rates are also high with around 15% of More…

Changing the face of TB through the involvement of communities

Changing the face of TB through the involvement of communities

“Empower civil society and community representatives to generate change from the bottom up”, this is one of the key messages we took away from a session organised by the TB Europe Coalition and WHO Europe on “Community-driven solutions to the MDR-TB epidemic in the European region” at the Union Conference in Barcelona. Indeed, as civil society speaks the language of the people affected by the disease, and is well placed to take over numerous functions at the local level such as case detection, patient support, prevention activities, especially targeting affected communities, its capacities should be strengthened. There is no doubt that by providing basic services, making patients’ voices heard and spreading awareness about TB, civil society can be of great added value to national efforts. Speakers from civil society from Tajikistan and Moldova as well as the National TB Programmes of Bulgaria and Russia presented best practices in the involvement of communities and civil society in TB care. It was widely agreed that a clear shift from perceptions of TB as a medical condition to a human and social problem was urgently needed, especially in the way that conferences and trainings are organised for medical and programme staff. An equal More…

TB and the Poor: Time to Smooth out Global Inequalities.

TB and the Poor: Time to Smooth out Global Inequalities.

Today, the Minister of Health of India rightly noted that TB is a by-product of poverty “It’s not just that TB is in the air, it’s related to poverty, malnutrition, and to health systems which simply cannot cope with basic challenges”.[1]   This quote illustrates that TB is part of a more complex web of societal factors, which must be addressed in a broader development framework. Civil society will be relieved to hear that the MOH of India has committed to making TB a political priority and the responsibility of both politicians and medical administrators. As India still harbours the highest number of missed TB cases, the decision to implement local TB tracking systems will most definitely be welcomed. Furthermore, a foreseen ban which is to prevent the sale of anti-tuberculosis medicine at markets, should push patients to seek out professional medical help and consequently raise treatment rates. While it appears that serious efforts are being made towards reducing India’s TB burden, a glance at global statistics gives further reason for concern. Even if it was noted today that recent data on TB has increased both in quantity and quality, cases continue to be underreported due to weak health systems. This More…

Ringing the Alarm Bells: Worrying Trends for TB

Ringing the Alarm Bells: Worrying Trends for TB

While the recent WHO TB report gave some reason for optimism over a 1.5% drop in TB mortality, progress has been deemed insufficient. In fact, recent data reveals that the TB epidemic is far graver than we first thought and scores of TB patients continue to go untreated. It is thus that the term “waiting-to-die lists” was coined, as patients return home without treatment due to insufficient funds and drug stock-outs, consequently facing a death sentence and a threat to their families and communities. Moreover, in the European Region, multidrug-resistant TB remains an alarming problem. The participants at Monday’s Stop TB Partnership meeting agreed that our current target of cutting TB deaths by 95% is ambitious. However, given that we know how to treat TB and effective medicine is available, it is sufficient funding and an adequate involvement of communities, which will determine whether we meet our objective. TB Research and Development has typically been neglected, receiving only 676 million in 2013, thereby leaving a 1.3 billion USD funding gap every year. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly closing TB research programmes as these no longer appear profitable. According to Colleen Daniels from the Treatment Action Group “TB R&D is starting More…

Lithuania hosts a briefing on MDR-TB in Europe for EU member states

Lithuania hosts a briefing on MDR-TB in Europe for EU member states

On 10 October, prominent speakers were invited to the Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the EU to brief Health Attachés of the different member states’ representations in Brussels on the issue of Tuberculosis and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in Europe. WHO Europe, the ECDC, the STOP TB Partnership, the TB Europe Coalition, the European Commission and 10 member states (France, Estonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Belgium, Latvia and Lithuania) were present to discuss the topic and potential for future EU action. Here is a summary of the main points that were addressed: TB rates in the EU are slowly decreasing overall, not fast enough to reach the MDGs. However Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB is becoming an epidemic on its own. The European region has the highest rates of MDR-TB among new TB cases (over 30% in some countries) in the world, and bears 25% of the global MDR-TB burden. Treatment success rates in the EU are way below targets: only 1 out of 3 patient is successfully treated, which represents some of the lowest treatment success rate in the world. In some countries of the EU it is as low as 16% treatment success rate. Key donors who are providing More…

EU and ACP officials address issue of Human Resources for Health in new resolution

EU and ACP officials address issue of Human Resources for Health in new resolution

Last month, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states unanimously passed and adopted a resolution on Human Resources for Health (HRH) in ACP countries. With those in the partnership between the EU and ACP countries recognising that the “healthcare is an essential instrument in improving the lives of those living in poverty” representatives at the Assembly, held in June, met to discuss this report on HRH in ACP countries. Major issues in the report included the brain-drain of healthcare workers to richer countries, access to healthcare facilities, and the financing and training of healthcare workers. 38 ACP countries currently suffer from severe labour shortages in the health field. This issue is particularly problematic in remote and rural areas and only serves to worsen the impact of TB, and in particular TB/HIV co-infection. During the JPA, parliamentarians called on ACP countries to achieve the 2001 Abuja goal of earmarking 15% of their national budgets for health care and investing in teaching and training. Importantly, they also called on the EU to supply technical and financial aid to this end. Other measures included increasing the use of Community More…

EU moves one step closer to finalising 2014-2020 budget

EU moves one step closer to finalising 2014-2020 budget

In February, EU heads of states met in Brussels to finally agree on a deal for the next seven years of spending in the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF)- otherwise known as the EU budget. This agreement was notable for being the first time that total funding is lower than in the previous period, with real term cuts of around 3.6%. Thought it is worth mentioning that the section of the budget devoted to EU external action – Heading 4  (which includes money put towards EU aid) – was frozen rather than cut. At the time many made clear their dissapointment with this announcement with particular concern surrounding the fact that the freeze would make it harder to reach the millenium development goals and the 0.7% target. Now, after months of negotiation with Member States (the “Council”), the European Parliament has endorsed the MFF. During this time MEPs did achieve some of the things they were aiming for. Most notably, greater flexibility, allowing for more of the money to spent sooner in the period 2014-2020 and also a binding requirement on the European Commission and the European Parliament to review the budget mid-term. What hasn’t changed is the amount of money devoted to EU eternal action (and, More…

Bridging the global health funding gap - event at the European Parliament

Bridging the global health funding gap – event at the European Parliament

Comprehensive report on drug-resistant tuberculosis launches in the UK

Comprehensive report on drug-resistant tuberculosis launches in the UK

This week, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis (UK) launched a report – Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Old Disease, New Threat – highlighting the increasing concern that exists about growing rates of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). The comprehensive piece was compiled after considerable time spent on processing both written and oral evidence from a number of experts in the field.The report identifies the main challenges facing not only the UK but also the world and outlines a series of recommendations for swift action where the biggest impact can be made. Importantly, the report highlights that it is not only developing countries that are witnessing a rise in DR-TB. Significantly, it makes note of the fact that 15 of the 27 highest burden countries are in the WHO European region. Almost 80,000 multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases occurred in the region in 2011, accounting for nearly a quarter of all MDR-TB cases worldwide. In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine between nine to 32% of new cases and more than 50% of previously treated cases have MDR-TB. These figures should drive our leaders both domestically and at an EU level to take action. Not only are DR-TB strains more difficult to treat but they More…

EVENT: Civil society mobilisation gathering to call on donors to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

EVENT: Civil society mobilisation gathering to call on donors to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

Tuberculosis: Europe's Ticking Timebomb

Tuberculosis: Europe’s Ticking Timebomb

The TB Europe Coalition calls on the European Commission to increase public health funding to fight resurgence of tuberculosis in Europe and eradicate deadly strains.  Drug-resistant forms on the rise in Europe; treatment costs to increase 50 times if epidemic left unchecked  MEPs get involved in the fight against deadly strains of the disease  Photo exhibition held in European Parliament to call attention to the issue Brussels, 20th March 2013 – On World Tuberculosis Day the TB Europe Coalition called on the European Commission to substantially increase funding to fight tuberculosis in Europe. Tuberculosis causes not only illness and death, according to estimates, it costs EU Member States €15 million every week and €750 million every year. Most people consider TB a disease of the past, yet this ancient disease is posing new challenges for countries across the globe as TB becomes more and more resistant to existing drugs. Europe is no exception – the World Health Organisation reported an estimated 76,000 cases of multi-drug resistant TB in the WHO European Region in 2011, accounting for a quarter of the global burden[1]. While TB can be treated, multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively-resistant TB (XDR-TB) are much more costly and More…

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