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Global MDR-TB Response Has Been Slow, Report Says

A report (.pdf) released recently and compiled by the Treatment Action Group, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Partners In Health says that international efforts aimed at scaling up treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) have been slow due to weak government action, low funding and a “sluggish response by international support mechanisms,” BMJ News reports.

The report is based on data from India, Russia and South Africa. “The countries reviewed had insufficient access to quality assured laboratory diagnostic capacity, resulting in delays in diagnosis and an enduring burden of undiagnosed patients. Quality care was also jeopardized by limited access to quality assured drugs and unpredictable and expensive drug supplies,” BMJ News writes. “WHO fully shares the report’s conclusion that governments need to tackle the issue much more vigorously than most have so far. Tackling TB is difficult; tackling MDR-TB, as this report makes clear, is even more challenging,” Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB Department, said (Zarocostas, 7/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.