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May 24, 2019

GHTC statement on High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB) delivered at WHA

The following statement—from Global Health Council (GHC), supported by Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Partners In Health (PIH), and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)—was delivered at the 72nd World Health Assembly on agenda item 11.8: Follow-up to the high-level meetings of the United Nations General Assembly on health-related issues, ending tuberculosis.

GHC supported by GHTC, IDSA, MSH, PIH and EGPAF applaud member states for adopting a strong political declaration at the UN High Level Meeting on TB. TB is the world's leading infectious killer, and if efforts to tackle TB continue at the current rate, 28 million people will die by 2030, at a global economic cost of USD $983BN. We call on the WHO and nations to deliver on the commitments of the HLM to diagnose and treat 40 million people by 2022, including 3.5 million children, and close the US$1.3BN funding gap for TB R&D annually.

We urge WHO and funding partners to help countries roll out new treatment and prevention regimens, including rifamycin-based prevention regimens that cut therapy from 6 months to 3 and must be scaled up among people living with HIV and children. WHO and funding partners should promote pediatric treatment formulations, improved diagnostics, and child-focused case finding strategies such as community-based contact tracing and integration of TB care in MNCH services.

Countries must invest in new medicines and technologies to treat multidrug-resistant TB, which drives increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance, and for rapid and equitable access to new medicines and technologies. Scale-up of new all-oral regimens to treat MDR-TB that are shorter, cheaper and better tolerated will ensure more people successfully complete treatment.

We call for full implementation of the WHO Multisectoral Accountability Framework with global high-level review through a multisectoral panel chaired by an independent expert, supported by a secretariat and hosted by an existing organization. This panel should review whether targets set by countries match up with targets agreed to at the HLM.

We urge countries to increase contributions to the Global Fund for the next replenishment cycle, as we won’t achieve the commitments of the HLM without greater resources.


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