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InterDependent. 2004 Spring; 22-23.However, there is reason for optimism. Proven methods of prevention and treatment exist and there is mounting evidence that the disease can be brought under control. The problem is resources. While the level of funding and political commitment to address the epidemic has improved dramatically in the last few years, more is needed. The U.N. estimates that by 2005, over $10.5 billion will be required per year to combat the disease in developing countries, where 95 percent of those infected with HIV live. Yet, in 2003, only about $4.7 billion was spent for this purpose. Recognizing the crucial importance of generating increased financing, the international community, led by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, began calling for the creation of a global health fund in early 2000. With strong support from the United States, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established in January 2002 to dramatically increase resources to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases. (excerpt)
Drug-resistant strains of TB increasing worldwide. New WHO report shows super-deadly TB strain is spreading. Drug resistant cases increase by 50% in parts of Western Europe. Countries to announce urgent control measures at ministerial summit. Press release.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2000 Mar 24 2 p. (Press Release WHO/19)Multidrug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) is a strain that cannot be cured with the most effective anti-TB medicines. The WHO and the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease warns that if countries do not act quickly to strengthen their control of TB, the MDR strains will continue to emerge in other parts of the world. It is reported that MDR strains have cost hundreds of lives and more than US$1 billion each in New York and Russia. Since 1996, resistance to at least one TB drug has increased by 50% in both Denmark and Germany, and it has doubled in New Zealand. It is also reported that when drug resistance is permitted to flourish in developing countries, people in wealthy countries inevitably feel the consequences. However, countries that use the WHO's recommended Direct Observation Treatment, Short-course, also known as DOTS, have been able to prevent drug resistance from increasing. The governments of the 20 countries with the largest number of TB patients are expected to announce a series of initiatives to prevent the MDR crisis from worsening. The WHO and the World Bank have called the meeting in Amsterdam to plan strategies to stop the spread of MDR-TB, and reduce deaths from TB.