15 July 2011

The global response to help countries scale-up treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is underfunded and ineffective, according to a new report released last week by Doctors Without Borderts, Partners in Health and the Treatment Action Group.

In the past 10 years, there have been an estimated five million new cases of MDR-TB and one-and-a-half million lives have lost to this curable disease.

According to the World Health Organisation, less than one percent of the world’s drug-resistant TB patients have been enrolled in programmes that provide internationally quality-assured treatment...

According to MSF, untreated drug-resistant TB encourages the disease’s spread. But with insufficient numbers of patients on treatment, demand for drug-resistant TB drugs is low, and the market for the development and production of the drugs remains unattractive. This creates a vicious cycle because limited drug supplies hinder the scaling-up of drug-resistant treatment.

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