WHO steps up fight against TB

2010-10-13 13:36

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today unveiled a new five-year plan to end tuberculosis, an infectious disease that affects more than 2 million people annually.

“We have done similar launches in Davos (Switzerland), but this time we said let us go where the problem is,” the organisation’s Mario Raviglione said at the launch in Alexandra township of the Global Plan to Stop TB.

As one of the countries ravaged by the disease, South Africa was very important in the fight against TB.

The plan hoped to close research gaps to bring fast TB tests, fast treatment and an effective vaccine.

The organisation has called for a partnership between the public and private sectors across the world to finance new drugs to combat the disease.

“We are not saying that we will solve a problem that has been with us for many years. What we want to do in five years is to improve the current 86% cure rate for TB to 90%by 2015,” the WHO said.

Also speaking at the launch, Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu emphasised the importance of community participation in the fight against the infectious disease.

The MEC said the province had raised awareness about the disease and was curing it at an 83% rate.

South Africa has the world’s third-highest number of TB cases.

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