WASHINGTON, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released its annual report to Congress on U.S. Government (USG) international foreign assistance for tuberculosis (TB) control. The report documents the significant progress that has been made toward Global Health Initiative (GHI) TB targets through sustained and well-focused investments. The USG, in partnership with developing country National TB Control Programs, is a global leader in combating TB. On March 22 from 2-4 p.m., USAID will feature powerful stories of people who have survived the disease in the Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club at an event entitled "Voices of TB". View the full details of the event.
TB is an ancient disease that has plagued mankind for millennia. Fortunately, it is curable with appropriate antibiotics. Over the last fifteen years we have made great strides in treating individuals with TB, and the number who become sick or die of the disease has fallen significantly. Despite this progress, an estimated 8.8 million cases were diagnosed, and 1.4 million people died of TB in 2010. Many who developed the disease and were successfully treated still experienced significant morbidity, leading to lower living standards and long term poverty. Because of its tremendous impact on individuals and their families, as well as communities and national development, prevention and treatment of TB remains a priority for governments, donors, the private sector, and faith and community-based groups all over the world.
The USG's sustained and well-focused investments to fight TB have substantively reduced the global TB burden. By 2010, prevalence and death rates in USAID's focus countries had decreased 14 percent and 29 percent, respectively, compared with 1990 levels. Detection of all forms of TB in USG TB programs reached 60 percent in 2010, and treatment success rates reached 85 percent, the global target, for the 2009 cohort of TB cases.
"We continue to make progress against TB in countries around the world where the burden of the disease is highest," said Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator, Global Health at USAID. "We must continue the push for discoveries for better drugs and diagnostics, more effective vaccines, and shorter treatment regimens."
The USG's TB program is primarily implemented through USAID, the lead U.S. agency for international TB control, in close collaboration and coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State/ Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Department of Defense (DoD).
The USG's technical approach emphasizes support to innovative and quality-assured programs in TB endemic countries, progressive international leadership, and extensive coordination with other stakeholders to ensure the most efficient use of funds. With its strong field presence, USAID works closely with national governments to assess and respond to health system and TB program constraints that undermine TB control services. New diagnostic and treatment tools, as well as proven innovative and effective patient-centered approaches to diagnosis and care are promoted and expanded to improve quality and reach of services.
The USG is also a major contributor to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Stop TB Partnership, the Global Drug Facility, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, all of which provide important support to basic TB control worldwide.
SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Web Site: http://www.usaid.gov