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Media Coverage Of WHO TB Report Continues

Media outlets on Thursday continued to write about the WHO’s new tuberculosis (TB) report, published Wednesday. “The Global Tuberculosis Report 2013 … confirms that the world is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reversing TB incidence, along with the target of a 50 percent reduction in the mortality rate by 2015 (compared to 1990),” the U.N. News Centre reports (10/23). However, the report “warns that many of these gains risk being lost if multidrug-resistant TB [MDR-TB] is not brought under control,” VOA News notes (Schlein, 10/23). In addition, “[t]he agency estimated that roughly three million TB cases, or one out of three, were not picked up by health systems in 2012,” according to CIDRAP News.

“The WHO also said only 94,000 of an estimated 450,000 MDR-TB cases were detected, signaling that progress toward diagnosis and treatment goals is ‘far off-track,'” CIDRAP adds (Roos, 10/23). “Meanwhile, the number of people diagnosed with XDR-TB, a highly drug-resistant form of the disease with few treatment options, also rose sharply, to 2,230 cases in 2012, from 1,464 in 2011,” the Wall Street Journal writes (McKay, 10/23). “The report’s release comes as a letter dispatched to the White House yesterday and signed by 65 physicians” urged the Obama administration to increase funding for TB programs, the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog notes (Barton, 10/23).