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Posts tagged "WHO Europe"

WHO launches ‘Action Plan’ to combat drug resistant TB in Europe

Last week, at a press conference in London, WHO Europe unveiled an Action Plan to tackle multi-drug and extensively drug resistant TB in the WHO European Region. WHO Europe also presented the Plan for endorsement last week at the WHO Europe Regional Committee meeting held in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Plan aims to contain the spread of drug-resistant TB by achieving universal access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment in all Member States in the WHO European Region by 2015. Following on from the WHO Europe press conference, the Action Plan received international media coverage emphasizing an urgent need to take action. As the BBC highlights, TB outbreaks are occurring right here in Europe, with London holding the highest TB rate of any capital city in Western Europe.  At the press conference, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar of the UK Health Protection Agency also explained how ‘the larger numbers in Eastern Europe represent a failure to take action’ over the past few decades. London barrister and former TB patient Anna Watterson attended the press event to give a personal account of her experience living with multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Anna is proof that TB can affect anyone and anywhere, and demonstrates the danger in becoming More…

Voices in the fight against the European epidemic

The TB Europe Coalition and the ACTION Project are giving TB a ‘human face’ in their report ‘Tuberculosis – Voices in the fight against the European epidemic’ by looking behind the statistics to focus on the every-day challenges faced by TB patients and their carers in the WHO Europen Region. TB is a global epidemic, causing devastating loss of life and hampering economic productivity. It is also a European problem, where TB rates have been on the rise over the past few decades. This report seeks to reenergise the fight against TB by telling the human side of the disease; giving a voice to the individuals and communities who have long been represented in numbers and figures. In these pages, patients, doctors, advocates and healthcare workers from seven European countries – Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, UK and Ukraine – tell of their experiences. “TB takes people out of the workforce and puts them into a state of poverty. They are not just faceless statistics, they are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and they are suffering.” – Jonathan Stillo, medical anthropologist, Romania Those interviewed address the need to sustain political will and financial investment as well as emphasizing how More…

New ECDC and WHO joint report on TB: concern about multi drug-resistance and childhood TB

A new report, Tuberculosis surveillance in Europe 2009, a joint publication from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe to mark World Tuberculosis Day 2011, provides evidence for concern about the spread of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the persistence of TB among children. ECDC is supporting WHO/Europe in developing a regional MDR-TB Plan and concerted actions are being taken to address childhood TB. While the EU/EEA Member States continue to mark a decline in the overall notification of TB cases, the report highlights the need to address childhood TB as a key component on the way towards TB elimination: Almost 40,000 TB cases in children were notified in the past decade with more than 3,300 reported cases in 2009. In addition, only 19 per cent of all childhood TB cases were confirmed bacteriologically – clearly indicating that TB diagnosis in children remains a major challenge even within the EU/EEA. Treatment outcome rates are the lowest recorded globally with the highest multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) rates in the world recorded within the region. The number of deaths and patients lost to follow-up are still a matter for concern. Vulnerable populations, including children, still More…