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WHO declares Tuberculosis – ‘An Emergency’ in Afrca

cured, the problem is huge and medical authorities cannot overcome it alone, they need help. A full course of TB drugs that costs 15 dollars will save the lives of TB patients - and in the case of people who are co-infected with HIV, extend their lives by precious years until ARVs become more widely available in Africa."

The specific actions called for by the Regional Committee to address the TB emergency are:

Improve the quantity and quality of staff involved in TB control;

Rapidly improve TB case detection and treatment success rates with expanded DOTS coverage at national and district levels;

Reduce the combined TB patient default and transfer out rates to 10% or less;

Scale up interventions to manage TB and HIV together, including increased access to anti-retroviral therapy for TB patients who are co-infected with HIV, and to chemo prophylaxis against TB for people with HIV;

Expand national TB partnerships, public-private collaboration and community participation in TB control activities.

According to WHO release, in the other four WHO regions of the world, TB trends are either stable or in decline and are on track to reach the MDG targets of halving TB prevalence and deaths by 2015.

For more information contact:

Samuel Ajibola Telephone: 258 (0) 82 097 2720 Email: ajibolas@afro.who.int

Glenn Thomas Anglophone media, Email: thomasg@who.int

Patrick Bertrand Francophone media, Telephone: +33 66 004 0442 Email: p.bertrand@noos.fr

Michael Luhan Telephone: +41 22 791 1379 Email: luhanm@who.nt
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