Washington, D. C. (March 16) – ACTION joins 84 organizations and 112 individuals in calling on G20 leaders to prioritize tuberculosis (TB) at the upcoming Summit in July where the G20 will discuss steps to address the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The open letter, which asks G20 leaders to support a mechanism to fast-track the development of a new anti-TB treatment regimen, provides an opportunity to take collective action against the world’s only drug-resistant infection spread through the air.
TB is the world’s leading infectious killer. Despite being preventable and treatable, the disease killed 1.8 million people in 2015, and is responsible for one-in-three AMR-related deaths. TB is a crucial concern for G20 nations, which currently account for 54 percent of all cases of drug-resistant TB and faces the majority of future costs.
“It’s time for G20 leaders to seize this opportunity and take action in the fight against the world’s deadliest disease,” said Rachael Crockett, RESULTS UK’s policy and advocacy officer for TB and the co-chair of the Civil 20 working group on health, a platform for civil society organizations to engage with G20 governments. “We will never reign in drug-resistance more broadly if we fail to tackle TB.”
Decades of underinvestment in research and development for new tools to fight the disease have led to a situation where we still lack an effective vaccine, affordable point-of-care diagnostic, and short treatment regimen to combat TB.
Despite the lack of effective tools to combat TB, last week the WHO left TB off its first-ever global priority list of antibiotic resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery, and development of new antibiotics. In response to concern about the exclusion of TB, ACTION supported a call for TB to be added to the WHO’s priority list of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
ACTION is a partnership of 12 locally rooted organizations around the world that advocate together to build political will and increase investments for global health. Our partners: Æquitas (India), CITAM (Zambia), Global Health Advocates France, Global Health Advocates India, Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium, Princess of Africa Foundation (South Africa), RESULTS International Australia, RESULTS Canada, RESULTS Japan, RESULTS Educational Fund (US), RESULTS UK, and WACI Health (Kenya).
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