Treatment for multidrug resistant TB fails in a quarter of cases in Europe, says WHO

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 14 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5852
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

The World Health Organization’s Europe regional office has launched an action plan to contain the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis, with the aim to achieve universal access to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in all European member states by 2015.

WHO says that in western Europe treatment fails in 23% of patients, 26% are lost to follow-up, 19% die, and only 32% are successfully treated.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO’s regional director for Europe, said that the region has the world’s highest rate of multidrug resistant tuberculosis, which, she said, “speaks of the failure of health systems to treat TB effectively.”

She said, “TB is an old disease that never went away, and now it is evolving with a vengeance. We have to find new weapons to …

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