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Cuts To U.S. Global, Domestic TB Program Funding Would Be Detrimental

The Hill: Not the time to reduce TB funding
Gerald Friedland, professor at Yale School of Medicine and member of the scientific advisory committee for the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Center for Global Health Policy

“In testimony supporting the president’s budget request [last] week, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah asserted that the funding proposed for his agency would allow it to ‘continue to make cost-effective interventions that save lives’ and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. But in the tightened spending environment that lawmakers and Shah cited repeatedly, a cut that is anything but cost-effective went unnoted in his remarks. Although the challenges to USAID’s work in such an environment are many, few cuts could be more expensive in the long run than reductions in spending to confront the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis. … An approach to global health that does not address the threat that TB continues to pose globally will come with a price that we will continue to pay for years to come. Fortunately, Congress rejected a similarly myopic approach to global health spending in the president’s last budget proposal. That was encouraging, and a hopeful sign of enlightenment not evidenced in the president’s global health budget request, or Shah’s response to it, for the coming year” (4/11).