The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria decided to cancel Round 11 grant approval during a two-day meeting in Accra, Ghana, that concluded on November 22, according to a Global Fund press release (11/23). The following opinion pieces address this action.
Christian Lienhardt of the Stop TB Partnership and colleagues examine the research necessary to stop tuberculosis (TB) and introduce the TB Research Movement, which aims to “boos[t] TB research and accelerat[e] progress in TB control towards international targets,” in this PLoS Medicine article. The authors “describe the development of the Research Movement…
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.
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…
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.”
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.”
“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).
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…
SciDev.Net examines tuberculosis (TB) in India, which has the world’s highest TB burden, and some experts’ hopes that researchers in the country can develop accurate and affordable diagnostic test kits. “The recognition that no new anti-TB vaccine is expected before 2015 has prompted experts to pin their hopes on improving diagnosis,” the news service writes. “One cause for worry in India is a plateau in the number of new cases being detected at 87 percent of actual infections, over the past five years,” and another is the “slow rate of decline of the disease in India,” SciDev.Net notes, adding, “Despite the drawbacks, global experts at [a recent TB] conference were optimistic that Indian diagnostic companies would soon form a world hub for high-quality generic diagnostics” (Padma, 11/3).