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Posts tagged "WHO"
Civil Society Capacity Building for DR-TB Regional Meeting

Civil Society Capacity Building for DR-TB Regional Meeting

When new, effective medicines providing safe treatment for widespread debilitating diseases, it is vitally important to ensure that everyone who needs such medicines has access to them. It was with this aim therefore that TBEC held a regional meeting on civil society capacity building for DR-TB. Existing TB treatments are incredibly gruelling for the patient, but medical innovations (shorter or safer treatments, new medicines, or more exact methods of diagnosis) can genuinely relieve a patient’s suffering. But what use are such innovations if patients aren’t able to access them? What use are new medicines if there’s no way for hospitals to buy them or any way to prescribe that they are needed? Any measurement of the success of innovative treatments has to be countered by an assessment of their accessibility. When everyone has access to new treatments, we can start to talk about how successful they are. Guidelines on DR-TB Treatment The recent WHO recommendations on drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) are the first in a long time that provide a genuine possibility to start to improve the treatment of DR-TB by using innovative and more effective medicines with less debilitating side effects. It is therefore vital that we do not waste time; More…

Azerbaijan Brings Quality Tuberculosis Care to Prisons

Azerbaijan Brings Quality Tuberculosis Care to Prisons

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in many prisons and infection rates are often more than 10 times higher than in the general population. Frequently overcrowded and poorly ventilated, many prisons also lack early detection and sound treatment programmes to combat the disease. However, in Azerbaijan—a country bordering Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran—a tuberculosis programme in the country’s  prisons is helping reverse the spread of the disease. Fifteen years ago, 7 in every 1000 Azerbaijan people were ill with TB. By last year, rates had fallen to 1 in every 1000 people, which is major progress. In 1995, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the country introduced the WHO DOTS approach to enable TB care and control in all of the country’s prisons. The approach has fostered political commitment and financing for TB efforts in prisons as well as linking to the wider national TB programme and health services; enabled earlier diagnosis; provided standardized treatment with supervision and patient support; provided effective drug supply and management; and monitored and evaluated the programme. Azerbaijan’s national programme  has developed  in line with the WHO European Office’s Consolidated Action Plan to More…

TB Europe Coalition involved in developing new TB Action Plan for Europe 2016-2020

TB Europe Coalition involved in developing new TB Action Plan for Europe 2016-2020

On 3rd October 2014, the TB Europe Coalition was invited by WHO Europe to represent civil society working on tuberculosis across the European region at the first meeting of the Advisory Committee for the development of the “Tuberculosis Action Plan for the WHO European Region, 2016-2020”.   “The Consolidated Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Multidrug and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the WHO European Region, 2011-2015” commonly known as MAP, was endorsed by the 61st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 15 September 2011. The Plan considers a number of activities in seven areas of intervention to be undertaken by Member States, with assistance of the WHO Regional Office and Partners. After four years of implementation, significant progresses can be reported in the prevention and control of multidrug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) in the Region, but challenges exists particularly in achieving treatment success.   Coming closer to its last year of implementation and with endorsement of the Post 2015 Global TB Strategy by the 67th World Health Assembly, it was time to re-think how Member States, WHO and partners should move forward together in preventing and controlling TB and More…

TBEC chairs 2nd meeting of RCC-TB

TBEC chairs 2nd meeting of RCC-TB

  On 11 November, Fanny Voitzwinkler, Coordinator of the TB Europe Coalition chaired the second meeting of the Regional Collaborative Committee on TB organised by WHO Europe in Copenhagen.   RCC-TB is a unique regional mechanism that was set up in November 2012 and aims to gather all TB stakeholders of the region (donors, international organisations, national authorities, civil society, the private sector etc..) to discuss challenges and strategize on opportunities that only such a diverse partnership could address.   The meeting gathered the Steering Committee* of RCC-TB and WHO country offices across the European region and aimed to develop an Action Plan for the RCC-TB for the year 2014.   Key areas of action that were identified by the RCC-TB for 2014 are:   High Level political advocacy at regional level Synergies between TB and HIV at all levels TB epidemic among vulnerable groups   An Action Plan with concrete activities is being drafted by the Steering Committee and will be implemented throughout 2014.   Key activities include:   the drafting of fact sheets that will be used for advocacy purposes throughout the region: HIV-TB models of integration involvement of civil society in TB control models and cost-effectiveness of More…

TBEC participates in 2013 WHO Review of Tajikistan TB Programme

TBEC participates in 2013 WHO Review of Tajikistan TB Programme

In July 2013, Fanny Voitzwinkler of Global Health Advocates, was part of the World Health Organization team as TBEC representative and Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation (ACSM) expert, which reviewed the Tajikistan National TB Programme (NTP). As part of the review, TBEC met with half a dozen NGOs, international partners such as Project HOPE, USAID, and KNCV, health workers, former patients as well as community and religious leaders in Dushanbe the capital city but also in the Khatlon region/oblast in the southern part of the country. Tajikistan has a high burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and is one of 18 countries in the WHO European Region in which TB control is the highest priority. Of the 6850 total cases registered in Tajikistan in 2012, 80% (5484) were new cases. The case-detection rate has improved over recent years, but remains low: 47% (39–57%). Civil society involvement in TB care and control is quite impressive in Tajikistan. 37 local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been working on TB projects. Most of them have started their activities in the past five to ten years and rely on 3096 volunteers trained on outreach activities around health issues. NGOs are providing crucial services to patients and More…

Learning from national TB partnerships

Learning from national TB partnerships

Last week, the Stop TB Partnership published “Partnering and public health practice – Experience of national TB partnerships” which presents the activities and approaches taken by national TB partnerships across the six WHO regions. By publishing activities and innovative approaches taken and by highlighting best practices and effective examples from existing partnerships the Stop TB Partnership aims to equip others with the necessary information to create their own national partnerships. There are a wealth of examples, from those national partnerships that act as more informal coalitions to those that have a clearer, more formalised, structure. The publication was developed through in-depth interviews conducted with the secretariat, national TB programmes and partner representatives from each of the 23 national TB partnerships. You can read the publication by clicking this link.

World TB Day 2013: Faces of Tuberculosis

World TB Day 2013: Faces of Tuberculosis

To commemorate World Tuberculosis Day 2013 the World Health Organisation and the European Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty Related Diseases hosted a photo exhibition, Faces of Tuberculosis, and a drinks reception with key-note speakers. The event was highly engaging with informative speeches from Dr Roberto Bertollini,Dr Masoud Dara, Dr Marieke van der Werf, Dr Paolo Guglielmetti. Speakers discussed a range of topics related to TB, including the increase in multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases and extrapulmonary TB. MEP Glenis Wilmott, who was hosting the event, also gave an interesting speech where she spoke of her surprise that, in her home country of the UK, TB was on the rise and that London had the highest TB rates of any city in western Europe. The most impassioned speech of the evening undoubtedly came from former TB patient Steve Bradley. Steve, who went blind from taking TB medication, urged us all to take action and do what we can to help eradicate TB. We hope that the selection of MEPs and EU officials present at the reception take note! Here we present a selection of pictures from the event with credit to Carl Cordonnier Daily Life:

World Health Organisation and Global Fund stress need for increased funding to prevent spread of TB

World Health Organisation and Global Fund stress need for increased funding to prevent spread of TB

On the occasion of World TB Day, 24th March 2013, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria have called for US$1.6 billion a year in international financing to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.  Here is their joint press release:  18 MARCH 2013 | GENEVA – WHO and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria said today that strains of tuberculosis with resistance to multiple drugs could spread widely and highlight an annual need of at least US$ 1.6 billion in international funding for treatment and prevention of the disease. Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, and Dr Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said that the only way to carry out the urgent work of identifying all new cases of tuberculosis, while simultaneously making progress against the most serious existing cases, will be to mobilize significant funding from domestic sources and international donors. “We are treading water at a time when we desperately need to scale up our response to MDR-TB” WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan With the overwhelming majority of international funding for tuberculosis coming through the Global Fund, they said, it is imperative that efforts to raise money More…

TBEC Participates in the 2013 WHO Review of Moldova Program

TBEC Participates in the 2013 WHO Review of Moldova Program

Last month, Jonathan Stillo, a medical anthropologist and active member of the TBEC and the Romanian STOP TB Partnership, was part of the World Health Organization team as TBEC representative that reviewed Moldova’s TB program. This was an unusually long review of a small country, but there is so much happening in Moldova related to TB, that even with two weeks and three separate review teams, it was difficult to see everything. Moldova has one of the highest rates of new MDR-TB in new cases in the entire world. It is also the poorest country in the WHO European region, with almost one-third of the population living in absolute poverty.  TB is only one of the many health problems the country is struggling with including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDS. An additional challenge Moldova faces is that Global Fund support for second line TB drugs to treat MDR-TB will end in 2014. The WHO review examined issues such as Moldova’s new community centers for fighting TB, a fully ambulatory MDR-TB pilot project, new treatment guidelines, and a nationwide roll-out of GeneXpert testing . Most of these developments are promising, but for TBEC, the most exciting news coming out of Moldova More…

World TB Day at the European Parliament - 'Faces of TB' exhibition

World TB Day at the European Parliament – ‘Faces of TB’ exhibition

Tuberculosis targets in the post-MDG era

Tuberculosis targets in the post-MDG era

With the  deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) approaching there has been increasing discussion on what the next ten-year objective for TB should be. In the current framework, while global TB figures are on course to meet MDG 6 of halving prevalence of TB by 2015, in Eastern Europe and Africa TB incidences are not decreasing and targets will not be met. It is so important that in the post-2015 development agenda there is greater clarity as to what can be done about tackling TB.  Last week the World Health Organisation held a meeting in order to establish a consensus on post-MDG goals and what can be done about TB. Although those gathered at the meeting all  seek to eliminate the disease, they differ about what specific objectives should be aimed for in the next ten years. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB Department in Geneva, suggests that one target could be to cut the projected 2015 annual deaths by half in 2025. This would require the incidence of the disease to drop from 16% to 10% in the next ten years, something that experts say will require better drugs and the scaling up of antiretroviral treatments to protect particularly vulnerable More…

Belarus: the world's highest documented levels of MDR-TB

Belarus: the world’s highest documented levels of MDR-TB

In 2010, a survey conducted in Minsk, Belarus found that nearly one out of every two (47.8 percent) TB patients had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). These were the highest MDR-TB levels ever recorded. In response, the Belarusian Ministry of Health conducted a nationwide survey to better understand drug resistance across the country, as well as the risk factors that lead to MDR-TB. The national survey found similar levels as the initial Minsk survey did. Thirty-five percent of new TB cases and 45 percent of all TB patients in the study had MDR-TB. Of those with MDR-TB, 12 percent had extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), a form of resistance to second line drugs that develops on top of MDR-TB. The results confirm that the alarming levels of drug resistance first found in Minsk are not restricted to the capital city but are widespread across the country. The high level of new TB cases that have MDR-TB indicates that MDR-TB is easily being transmitted throughout the population. The authors cite poor management of TB patients, including poor lab facilities for TB diagnosis, a lack of standardised treatment, poor infection control within hospitals, failure in directly observing treatment, lack of patient support, drug stock-outs and More…

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