Voices In The Fight Against TB

September 16, 2011 – 2:01 pm

Written By: Jessica Kuehne (RESULTS UK)

This week the ACTION Project is pleased to announce two important advocacy tools in the fight against TB in Europe.  These advocacy tools - Tuberculosis - Voices in the fight against the European epidemic and MDR-TB Action Plan represent important steps in combating TB and in raising TB awareness, marking a shared commitment in tackling the disease. Medical Anthropologist Jonathan Stillo pointed out, “TB takes people out of the workforce and puts them into a state of poverty. They are not just faceless statistics, they are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and they are suffering.” We urge European governments and institutions to fully back, both politically and financially, the WHO’s Action Plan and to listen to the voices of those most affected by TB.


The ACTION Project is giving TB a ‘human face’ in its report ‘Tuberculosis - Voices in the fight against the European Epidemic’ by looking behind the statistics to focus on the every-day challenges faced by TB patients and their careers in Europe. Within the report, patients, doctors, advocates and healthcare workers from seven European countries - Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, UK and Ukraine - tell of their experiences. For more stories from those fighting TB in Europe, click here.


Yesterday morning, at a press conference in London, WHO Europe released its Action Plan to prevent and combat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in the WHO European Region.  As a result of a variety of factors, including lack of resources and political will, drug-resistant TB strains have spread at an alarming rate in the Region.

WHO Europe’s Action Plan was prepared in region-wide consultation with experts, patients and communities suffering from the disease. The Action Plan seeks to contain the spread of drug-resistant TB by achieving universal access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment in all Member States in the Region by 2015. WHO Europe predicts that full implementation of the Plan will prevent 263,000 cases of M/XDR-T and will save 120,000 lives and US$ 12 billion for Member States. For further information on TB in Europe, visit the TB Europe Coalition’s website here or RESULTS UK’s blog by clicking here.

Washington Post: Drug-resistant tuberculosis spreading fast across Europe, WHO issues new plan to fight disease

CBS News: Drug resistance in TB cases alarms health officials

Reuters: Dangerous TB spreading at alarming rate in Europe