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Global Community Must Commit To ‘Comprehensive Effort’ To End TB

Project Syndicate: Winning the War Against TB
Melvin Sanicas, program officer and global health fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…Given the enormous economic burden and widespread human suffering caused by TB, a comprehensive effort to tackle the disease is urgently needed. … The first step is to ramp up data-collection efforts. … Moreover, health care workers must expand efforts to prevent new infections and quickly treat fresh cases. … At the same time, efforts must be made to control the seedbeds of the disease, the latent infections that are the source of virtually all new cases of active TB. … To eliminate the disease globally, a better vaccine would be crucial. … Finally, any effort to eradicate TB must acknowledge that the disease is rooted in poverty and social exclusion. … By developing new tools — including rapid diagnostics, safe and shorter treatment of TB infection and disease, and an efficacious TB vaccine — strengthening health systems, and improving the living conditions of at-risk populations, we can neutralize one of humankind’s oldest killers…” (4/4).

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