Burnet Institute has joined a coalition of leaders and representatives as a signatory to a Joint Action Statement calling for the urgent implementation of a set of high priority actions to achieve United Nations targets to end the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic by 2030, with a special focus on the threat posed by drug-resistant TB (DR-TB).
The joint action statement was the output of a round table convened by the Stop TB Partnership and Burnet Institute, and supported by the Australasian TB Forum at the Global Health Security Conference in Sydney, July 2019.
The round table was co-chaired by the executive director of the Stop TB Partnership, Dr Lucica Ditiu, and Burnet Board Member, Associate Professor Helen Evans.
Delegates included Mr Peter Sands, executive director of the GFATM, Dr Paison Dakulala Deputy Secretary of Health in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and representatives of the Australian Government Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security.
Importantly, TB and MDR-TB survivors from PNG and Indonesia were present to provide the perspective of affected individuals and communities.
Issued by the Stop TB Partnership on behalf of a group of leaders and representatives from inter-governmental organisations, governments, financing institutions, implementers, research organisations, product developers, civil society, and tuberculosis (TB) survivors working to end TB in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement proposes five solutions:
- Create regional partnerships
- Scale-up of implementation and innovation
- Embed research
- Empower community, and
- Innovation in financing
“A comprehensive epidemic response paradigm to TB (active case finding, rapid diagnosis, effective treatment, peer support and care, prevention and management of exposure) is the standard of care in high-income countries, and the scientific approach needed to move towards ending TB,” the statement declares.
“Historical data clearly suggests that such comprehensive community-wide approaches to TB epidemic control are essential to achieve and sustain low rates of TB.
“This comprehensive epidemic response, rather than simply containment, is also the optimal strategy to end DR-TB.”
Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC endorsed the Joint Action Statement on Burnet’s behalf.
Tuberculosis is now the leading infectious disease killer in the world with 1.6 million lives lost in 2017. The Asia-Pacific region carries 62 per cent of the global burden of TB and 55 per cent of DR-TB.