Fight against tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a prime example of a disease of poverty: it develops particularly in situations in which nutrition, housing, hygiene and health education conditions are deplorable. This long-standing disease still kills 2 million people each year and a third of the world’s population is infected with it. The vast majority of the cases are in developing countries, but tuberculosis also affects disadvantaged groups in developed countries, in particular in Eastern Europe.
Each year, tuberculosis affects more than 8.8 million people and kills close to 2 million people. The leading cause of AIDS-related deaths, tuberculosis is on the rise along with AIDS in Africa, but also in areas with a low prevalence of HIV, for reasons of poverty (in South Asia) and promiscuity (in prisons in Russia, for example).
For needs estimated at 2 billion dollars per year in 2007, 1.4 billion dollars are spent each year to combat tuberculosis, including 200 million from international aid, 2/3 of which come from the Global Fund.
The 2006-2015 tuberculosis plan published by the Stop TB-WHO partnership assesses the global needs for the next ten years (including research) to be 56 billion dollars in order to gradually reduce the impact of the disease and move toward its long-term eradication.
The global tuberculosis drug market is fairly well organized, specifically thanks to the positive role played by the Global Drug Facility and the “Green light” committee, which gives people with resistant forms of the disease access to drugs, both set up by the WHO.
The current issues of the fight against tuberculosis are:
The dissemination of short-term treatment strategies under direct observation in all countries and regions,
Taking HIV/tuberculosis co-infections into consideration, by combining programmes and actions to control these two diseases,
Treating patients infected with multi-resistant bacilli (public health problem in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union),
The search for new drugs allowing for shorter treatments (three months against six months today) and making it possible to respond to the dissemination of resistant strains, as well as to develop a more effective vaccine,
The search for new, simple and fast diagnostic methods.
Mobilization of France in the fight against tuberculosis
France’s contribution to the global fight against tuberculosis is based above all on its investment in multilateral initiatives, such as the Global Fund in the Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the IDPF.
The Global Fund (GFFATM) has earmarked 17% of its commitments for the fight against tuberculosis, which accounts for 67% of international aid for the fight against tuberculosis. Thanks to this, in four years, 2 million more people have been able to receive treatments in the WHO DOTS strategy. France’s contribution has doubled since 2004, moving from 150 to 900 million euros over the period 2008-2010, making it the second-leading contributor in the world, after the United States.
UNITAID works in close partnership with the WHO’s Global Drug Facility and Green Light committee to make tuberculosis treatments that are effective against multi-resistant tuberculosis and for children less expensive and therefore more accessible. France is by far the leading contributor to the IDPF.
Updated on : 09.04.10