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International Federation-Lilly Agreement Will Allow Significant Increase in MDR-TB Programmes
Date:11/29/2007

TB programmes include providing patients with care, food and support, educating the community about the spread and symptoms of tuberculosis, detecting new cases through surveillance, and addressing the stigma associated with the disease. In addition, cured patients are often recruited as Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and provide invaluable psychological support to current patients. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), community-based TB care significantly improves both access to services and adherence to treatment.

The WHO global TB control report for 2007 confirms progress has been made in recent years to control the TB pandemic, which kills 1.6 million people each year. But much more needs to be done. The European region, for example, has the highest level of TB treatment failures, and as a result, 15 percent of all new TB cases in the Baltic States, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are multidrug-resistant, a rate that is three times higher than in any other region in the world.

Currently, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in more than 20 countries address the needs of some 20,000 clients with TB and MDR-TB among the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society - including the very poor, the homeless, the elderly, prisoners, and substance abusers. Many are also HIV- positive, and because of their weakened immune system, are at particular risk of dying from TB. To address this situation, many Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are integrating their TB and HIV programmes, particularly in Asia (such as Myanmar) and in Africa (such as Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe).

The International Federation is an active partner in the Global Stop TB Partnership, whose aim is to decrease the prevalence and death rates of TB by 50 per cent by 2015.

(*) Tuberculosis is a very contagious disease, which spreads through the air. If not treated, every person with active TB infects, on average, 10 to 15 people each
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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