In this post on the PLoS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Grania Brigden, the tuberculosis (TB) adviser to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, writes that while “[t]his year’s Global Tuberculosis Control report shows the beginning of a decline in the global tuberculosis epidemic, … there is…
“Researchers are developing an electronic nose that would sniff out tuberculosis (TB) like a Breathalyzer detects alcohol, putting an end to current time-consuming tests and possibly saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year,” the Globe and Mail reports (D’Aliesio, 11/7). A team of Indian researchers is planning to have a prototype in hospitals by October 2013, after receiving a $950,000 grant on Monday from Grand Challenges Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the Guardian (Tran, 11/7).
The 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) ended on Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where “the final plenary session … left the audience with a notion of hope and urgency that despite the Global Fund’s cancellation of Round 11 disbursements, the organization will continue to campaign, raise funds and place pressure on governments in both the donor and recipient arenas,” an ICASA news article reports (12/8). Speaking at the session, “Global Fund Deputy Executive Director Debrework Zewdie felt compelled to reassure those benefiting from the fund,” saying, “‘Everyone who is on treatment funded by the Global Fund will stay on treatment,'” according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C (Frentzen/Waswa, 12/8).
“The Central African Republic (CAR) is in the grips of a chronic medical emergency, according to a report released today by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF),” an MSF press release states. “Four mortality studies carried out by MSF over the past 18 months reveal crude mortality rates in some regions of CAR at three times the emergency threshold of one death per 10,000 people per day, which, according to the World Health Organization, is considered a humanitarian crisis,” the press release adds (12/13).
In an opinion piece on the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) website, MSF International President Unni Karunakara writes that with the cancellation of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Round 11 grants, “The Board of the Global Fund must raise the alarm. Instead of accepting rationing, and cancelling ambitions, we…
VOA News examines the Eugene Bell Foundation’s work in North Korea to detect and treat patients with multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The foundation is treating about 600 patients in North Korea, where “[c]onditions … are ideal for the spread of TB. The climate is cold. Most citizens live and work in small spaces, and lack proper nutrition to maintain a strong immune system,” VOA writes (Herman, 11/11).
In this post in the Global Post’s “Global Pulse” blog, journalist John Donnelly reports on how a machine developed by researchers at the TB Laboratory at the Lung Center of the Philippines “that can detect multi-drug resistant [tuberculosis (MDR-TB)] in record time may revolutionize TB treatment.” According to the blog, the GeneXpert, dubbed by researchers as the “espresso maker,” grew out of a collaboration among partners put together by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics in Geneva and “can detect [MDR-TB] in two hours instead of the old way of growing cultures that took two months.”
In this post in the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs” blog, Heather Ignatius, senior policy manager for the TB Alliance, writes that while “[t]he most recent WHO TB Control report noted that rates of [tuberculosis (TB)] declined this past year for the first time in decades, … TB remains one of…
In response to Michael Gerson’s November 11 column in which he said the end of AIDS is possible because of combination prevention and treatment innovations, David Bryden, the Stop TB advocacy officer at RESULTS, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor, “Another benefit of [HIV] treatment is that it sharply reduces deaths from tuberculosis [TB], which is the primary killer of people living with HIV/AIDS.” He says that “to fully succeed in Africa, where TB and HIV/AIDS are often two sides of the same coin, we have to quickly identify people who have TB or who are vulnerable to it and get them the services they need,” which also means developing an accurate quick test for the disease.
PlusNews examines the difficulties in diagnosing and treating multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in children, writing, “With weaker immune systems, children who contract TB — most often from parents — progress to active disease in about a year. But just how many children are affected is not known as there is almost no research into children and MDR-TB — and very little useful guidance on how to treat them.”