Implementing the consolidated action plan to prevent and combat multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR TB) in the WHO European Region since 2011, Member States have made several major achievements in prevention, control and care. More than 1 million TB patients have been cured, including 53 000 with MDR-TB. Key challenges remain, especially due to ongoing primary transmission, increasing resistance of strains and deadly TB and HIV co-infections. The expected effects of the new action plan for 2016–2020 include curing 1.4 million TB patients, preventing 1.7 million new cases and saving US$ 48 billion.
Dr Masoud Dara, Programme Manager, TB and M/XDR-TB Control at WHO/Europe, underlined that there is no room for complacency in the fight against TB, and that it was important to address the disease recognizing its co-morbidities: tobacco, alcohol and HIV.
RC65 adopted the TB action plan for the WHO European Region 2016–2020. Representatives of Member States emphasized the importance of stronger collaboration, working across borders, involving all stakeholders in a common response for the Region. Several emphasized the need to focus particularly on ensuring access to prevention, treatment and care for vulnerable groups, including people with HIV.
Representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) underlined their role as the link between the medical and social responses to TB, and welcomed collaboration with governments and other partners to maximize the results achieved.