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Stopping TB Requires Dedication Of International Community

Noting that the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report shows “that access to care and treatment for tuberculosis [TB] has expanded substantially in the past two decades,” Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, writes in an AlertNet opinion piece, “Not only is this good news for those countries that are most vulnerable to tuberculosis; it is also good news for the global community,” as TB can be passed through the air. Derrick describes some of the interventions against TB instituted internationally, and she notes the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “is the largest global donor to tuberculosis programs, providing 82 percent of international funding to fight the disease,” as well as “91 percent of international financing” to fight multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

Continued U.S. Leadership Crucial To Building On Global Progress Against TB

Tuberculosis (TB) “is the second leading cause of death due to infectious disease worldwide; taking approximately 1.4 million lives in 2011 alone,” Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) writes in an opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” adding, “The good news is that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halt and reverse the TB epidemic by 2015 has already been achieved in several regions of the world.” She notes “advances have been made in TB diagnostics with the increased availability of Xpert, a new test that detects the disease — including in HIV-positive people — within 100 minutes.” However, she continues, “we cannot defeat the disease without the introduction of faster drug susceptibility tests and new drugs and vaccines.”

Report Analyzes Global Health Funding Trends, Predicts Lower Funding Growth

A report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) finds that the recent global economic downturn “hasn’t quelled generous government and private donors from giving record amounts to improve global health,” but the analysis also revealed “that growth in funding is beginning to taper off, cut by more than half between 2008 and 2010,” the Seattle Times’ “The Business of Giving” blog reports (Heim, 11/30).

Global Fund Approves 79 Grants With Two-Year Commitment Of $1.7B

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria Board of Directors on Wednesday approved 79 grants with a two-year commitment of “$1.7 billion dollars for projects against the diseases, amid warnings that some hard-hit African countries were being left out,” Agence France-Presse reports. The commitment, according to Ethiopian Health Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who chair’s the Global Fund’s board, “shows that even in hard economic times, we can continue to expand the fight against the three diseases” (12/15).

Also In Global Health News: Water In The Philippines; Potential HIV Treatment; Kenyan Food Security; TB In Prisons; Ethiopian HIV Plan

Government Agencies In The Philippines Sign Sanitation Agreement To Expand Clean Water Access Filipino Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary General Jose Eliseo Rocamora signed an agreement to honor the President’s Priority Program on Water (P3W), the Manila Bulletin reports.…

ABC News Global Health Series Launches Friday

In a New York Daily News article, ABC News medical correspondent Richard Besser discussed the network’s new “Be the Change: Save a Life” series ahead of its Friday launch, which will be the “first installment in a multimillion-dollar partnership between ABC News and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to cover global health issues.”

White House Marks World AIDS Day

Commemorating World AIDS Day on Wednesday President Barack Obama called for continuing to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and abroad, Agence France-Presse reports (12/1).

Life Expectancy, Other Health Indicators Improve In Asia-Pacific, OECD Report Says

A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released on Tuesday, found that “Asia-Pacific countries have seen steady gains in key health indicators since 1970, but developing nations there are still far behind standards in the industrialised world,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. OECD looked at “[h]ealth systems for 27 Asia-Pacific economies,” according to the news service (12/21).

Also In Global Health News: Global Fund Grants In Mali; Uganda’s Progress On MDGs

Global Fund Suspends 2 Malaria Grants, Terminates TB Grant In Mali “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said Tuesday that $4 million meant to fight disease in Mali has been misappropriated,” leading the organization to temporarily suspend two malaria grants and terminate a TB grant, the Associated Press…

WHO Endorses Rapid TB Test

“The World Health Organization endorsed a new, rapid test for tuberculosis Wednesday that cuts the diagnosis time for patients from months to hours,” CNN reports (Gray, 12/8).