Multi-Sector, Integrated Approach Critical To Eradicating TB In Africa

Project Syndicate: Winning the War on Tuberculosis
Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and former prime minister of Niger

“…Infectious diseases have no borders, and as African countries deepen their trade ties and intra-Africa migration grows, the threat of regional pandemics will only increase. This makes it all the more critical that Africa begin developing a multi-sector, integrated approach to containing, controlling, and eventually eradicating public health challenges like TB. … But before a specific framework can be agreed upon, three issues require urgent attention. First, African health care planners and disease specialists must set country, regional, and local containment targets. … Moreover, to end TB completely, Africa will need new and sustained financial commitments from the public and private sectors. And, finally, disease control strategies must be designed to support the economic and health care priorities of the [the Regional Economic Communities (RECs)]. … [Sustaining] progress [against TB] in Africa will require significant regional coordination, not to mention a lot more money. … [T]he recent gathering at the [U.N. General Assembly (UNGA)] marked a critical turning point in the world’s war on the disease. But even as commitments are made and declarations signed, we must remember that in Africa, the battle is far from over” (10/12).