News Releases

Global Fund supports efforts to control multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis in WHO European region

14 September 2011

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomes the endorsement of the “Consolidated Action Plan to prevent and combat MDR TB 2011- 2015” by all 53 European countries, and is committed to fully support its targets and objectives. As the largest international funder of tuberculosis programs and the largest funder of multidrug-resistant TB treatment (MDR-TB), the Global Fund recognises the strong political will in the countries of the region and the commitment of WHO to tackle the serious challenge of MDR-TB.

Speaking at the sixty-first session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe held in Baku last week, Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, and Executive Director of the Global Fund said “MDR-TB constitutes a major public health challenge in the region and halts progress under MDG6. I would like to particularly acknowledge the efforts of WHO European Regional Office to address this alarming challenge. Financing of health care is a shared responsibility and of particular significance in a globalized world.”

The Global Fund is committed to turning around the MDR-TB epidemic. Global Fund grants support a range of activities in line with the Consolidated Action Plan including: social support to patients, community system strengthening surveillance, and programme monitoring.

Global Fund-supported TB and MDR-TB programs in EuropeTo date, US$ 880 million has been approved by the Global Fund to support TB proposals in 20 European region countries, of which US$ 450 million has already been disbursed. In addition, the Global Fund has granted funding for MDR-TB activities in 12 of the 15 high-burden countries in the European region, and at mid-2011 almost 20,000 patients have enrolled on Global Fund-supported MDR-TB treatment – an increase of almost 20% over 2010. Global Fund support has also resulted in greater engagement from civil society, NGOs and the private sector in the response to MDR-TB. An estimated 225,000 MDR-TB patients would be diagnosed under the Consolidated Action Plan

The global pictureTo date Global Fund-financed TB programmes around the world have provided treatment to 8.2 million people. The global fund also contributes to preventing the emergence of MDR-TB by supporting the effective treatment of people when they first develop tuberculosis.

Leaving MDR-TB untreated increases the risk of spread of drug-resistant strains of TB. Programmes financed by the Global Fund with WHO treatment standards are expected to diagnose and treat about 250, 000 people worldwide with MDR-TB by 2015.