Statement |

MSF statement at 71st WHA: Preparation for a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on ending tuberculosis

Speaker: Khairunisa Suleiman

71st World Health Assembly - Agenda item 11.8: Preparation for a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on ending tuberculosis

MSF is the largest non-governmental provider of drug resistant-TB treatment. We are alarmed that, globally, just 12% of people estimated to be in need of treatment using newer TB drugs bedaquiline and delamanid had access in 2017.

MSF encourages Member States to ensure high-level representation of their Heads of State at the UN High-Level Meeting on TB (UN HLM). We also urge Member States to seize the opportunity of the UN HLM to:

  1. Set clear, measurable national and global targets for testing, treatment and prevention with five-year milestones,

  2. Commit to increased investment in TB research and development (R&D) that meets public health needs for affordable and effective tools, and

  3. Pledge continued engagement of heads of state in monitoring progress – and addressing delays – in meeting these commitments.

MSF calls for a robust political declaration at the UN HLM, with commitments to time-bound, ambitious and measurable national and global targets to close the TB testing, treatment and prevention gaps.

Only 61% of people estimated with TB were diagnosed and reported in 2016.

MSF urges Member States and donors to make substantial improvements in support and funding for TB R&D in order to equitably deliver TB tools that are effective, affordable and suitable. Member states should consider designating products of publicly-funded R&D as global public goods. A healthy pipeline is imperative and open and collaborative research platforms need support to facilitate the development new drug regimens.

MSF calls on Member States to convene a Global TB Cabinet to regularly analyse and confront the epidemic dimensions of TB as part of a “Decade to Defeat TB,” the world’s deadliest infectious disease killer. Empty pledges will not save lives.

A full list of briefing documents and interventions for the 71st WHA can be found here.