Bobby Ramakant

India: Accurate and affordable TB diagnosis in private sector becoming a reality

Tuberculosis (TB) care and control does not end with an accurate and confirmed diagnosis, but that is a good start point. It needs to be followed with initiating standard and effective anti-TB treatment (without delay), supporting the person with TB to adhere to the treatment regimen and get cured. Dr Madhukar Pai, Associate Director of McGill International TB Centre, addressed private TB healthcare providers including physicians and laboratory experts in New Delhi before the World TB Day 2014.

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Childhood TB will no longer be 'the neglected of the neglected': Spigelman

"2013 has been a year of tremendous progress. I am optimistic that paediatric TB will no longer be 'the neglected of the neglected'. With help of UNITAID and US Agency for International Development (USAID) we are embarking on significant changes in this direction” said Dr Melvin Spigelman, President and CEO of Global Alliance of TB Drug Development (TB Alliance). He was addressing the TB Alliance Stakeholders’ Association Annual meeting before the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health opens in Paris later this week.

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When whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts

[Images] Earlier this year we at CNS had visited many biosafety level (BSL) III laboratories in India where one of the latest diagnostic tools were available to do drug susceptibility testing (DST) for tuberculosis (TB). One red-coloured sticker on most of these diagnostic tools caught our attention: UNITAID. This organization not only raises 70% of its core funding by innovative financing mechanisms such as by levying a small fee on airline tickets, but also has made a difference differently when compared with other traditional donors.

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Integrated TB and HIV care in Myanmar gives hope

[Images] There is no doubt that tuberculosis (TB) and HIV care should be integrated at different levels, particularly in high burden settings. Being part of the UNITAID mission to report from the global launch of the largest-ever roll-out of Gene Xpert MTB/RIF machines in Yangon, Citizen News Service - CNS got an opportunity to witness an inspiring work done in Myanmar since 2005 where TB and HIV care services are getting increasingly integrated at different levels, with support from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and partners.

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Largest-ever push to diagnose tuberculosis within two hours

[Images] Diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) and also getting to know with accuracy about resistance to one of the two most powerful anti-TB drugs (Rifampicin) within two hours is increasingly becoming a reality on the ground. The largest-ever roll-out of Gene Xpert MTB/RIF machines in countries most severely hit by drug-resistant TB was launched on 10th September 2013 at the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory in Yangon, Myanmar, with support from UNITAID, an organization whose 70% funding is raised by innovative financing mechanisms such as levying a small fee on airline tickets.

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TB rates need to drop 10 times faster for elimination by 2050

Tuberculosis (TB) rates are coming down, but not dropping fast enough to keep the world on track to meet the target of Stop TB Partnership: to eliminate TB by 2050 (less than 1 percent TB in population is referred to as elimination). "The current decline in TB rate is 2 percent globally every year" said  Dr Christian Lienhardt of WHO Stop TB Department at the 4th Union Asia Pacific Region Conference on Lung Health (APRC 2013) which recently concluded in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

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Combating childhood tuberculosis

Will improving efficiency and efficacy of tuberculosis control programs within health care facilities help the world meet 2015 targets set by the Millennium Development Goals, the Global Plan to Stop TB, and the country programs, or is a paradigm shift necessary in the basic principles of TB control?

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