WHO urges action on drug resistant tuberculosis

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 28 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:465
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

The World Health Organization has called on governments to intensify efforts to counter the growing epidemic of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. It wants them to commit more funds for new drugs and diagnostics and to boost capacity for treatment.

Multidrug resistant tuberculosis is implicated in 5% of new cases, a WHO report says. Almost 490 000 cases were identified in 2006, out of a total of nine million new cases of tuberculosis.

“Tuberculosis drug resistance needs a frontal assault. If countries and the international community fail to address it aggressively now we will lose this battle,” said Mario Raviglione, director of WHO’s Stop TB campaign.

Paul Dunn, WHO coordinator for drug resistance and tuberculosis-HIV, told the BMJ that he was concerned that “the level of awareness of tuberculosis programmes by public health officials and …

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