Investments In Global Fund, Integrated Approaches Vital To Ending TB

The Hill: To end tuberculosis, we must invest in a more streamlined approach
Ersin Topcuoglu, senior principal technical adviser at Management Sciences for Health

“…Disease-specific programs have made inroads and may perform well independently, but they can sputter when donor funding recedes, leaving countries no better off than when we started. … In the past several years, the global health community has realized that to end TB, we can’t continue business as usual. … The U.S. continues to lead amid dwindling support for global health development by traditional donors. Thanks to a strong commitment by our legislature, the U.S. even increased funds for TB work abroad in the current fiscal year. Still, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria … is running out of funding. Over the next 18 months, the Global Fund will need a replenishment of at least $14 billion to carry on its work for another three years. The U.S. Congress should pledge to help keep this vital organization well-funded. … Further, activities that promote integrated services to end TB should take priority in funding allocations. We also need to make sure that money is well-spent, which means governments, donors, global health professionals, and providers collaborate on financing and continuously integrate activities and systems. Investing in this approach to attacking TB will finally give the world an edge over this age-old scourge that kills the most” (2/18).