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“Lives are on the line”: TB research can’t survive without the Global Fund

newseditor2 April 2012

TB research has changed over the past 10 years. Growing collaborations have led to huge advancements in testing and treatment for a disease that kills every 20 seconds.

But this progress is threatened by reduced financing of health programmes by the Global Fund, which accounts for two-thirds of global TB funding, leaving money only for ‘essentials’.

“Lives are on the line,” said Simon Logan, a policy advisor from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis, who is now urging the public to engage in dialogue about the potential impact that Global Fund restrictions will have on the disease.

The challenge of TB
World TB Day, held on 24 March, marks 130 years since Robert Koch discovered the bacteria responsible for the disease. The ‘UCL ‘Local and global’ TB conference last week coincided with a TB supplement in the Journal of Infectious Diseases – this year, the focus is paediatric TB. There are major challenges to tackling the disease and many are particular to children. These include under-reporting of cases, diagnostic difficulties and the need for better quality drugs.

(more…)