The Stop TB Partnership has released The Global TB Plan 2016-2020, which outlines the funding and action needed to tackle the global tuberculosis crisis; TB kills more than 1.5 million people globally each year.
Médecins Sans Frontières responds to the release of the plan with the following quote:
“The Global TB Plan shows us that we have a long road ahead of us if we want to turn around a disease that’s now deadlier than HIV. The first step should be diagnosing everyone who is sick with tuberculosis; three million cases of TB were missed last year and only a quarter of the people thought to have multidrug-resistant TB were actually diagnosed. The number of undiagnosed TB cases isn’t a gap, it’s a chasm, and it needs to be filled as an urgent priority if we’re going to get TB under control – people left undiagnosed risk sickness and death, and undiagnosed TB contributes to the spread of this deadly disease.
“Step one is a wider rollout of today’s rapid diagnostic tests that can detect TB and resistant TB, so people can be diagnosed earlier and closer to home. Increasing access to rapid TB diagnosis is critical to scaling up the numbers of people who are quickly and correctly diagnosed and placed on the right treatment.
“To really tackle the TB crisis and meet the ambitious goals in the Global TB Plan, we need to boost investment in research and development of new diagnostic tools that are affordable, accurate, fast, and can identify drug-resistant TB at the point-of-care. We also need a simple point-of-care TB test that can accurately test a sample that isn’t difficult for patients to produce and that can work effectively in children. If ending TB is going to be more than a slogan, we must get testing right and have the resources and commitment that can achieve it.”
- Martina Casenghi, MSF TB Diagnostic Advisor