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Opinion Pieces Address Issues Surrounding TB, Recognize World TB Day

The following opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding tuberculosis (TB), in recognition of World TB Day.

CNN: Diabetes and TB: A growing threat
Susan Fisher-Hoch, a professor at the University of Texas Houston School of Public Health and a board member of Stop TB USA

“…Today, the biggest risk for tuberculosis is not HIV/AIDS, which led to a surge in cases in the late 1980s, but diabetes. … Research largely depends on government funding since the pharmaceutical industry shows little interest in TB. Congress has not made TB a priority despite the increasing risk to the public at large. … Diabetes could reverse the achievements of several decades in TB control, but, if we combine good science, adequate funding and above all, political will, we can get ahead of this looming crisis…” (3/24).

The Guardian: Tuberculosis is an old disease with a new face — and it needs to be stopped
Jennifer Hughes, a medical officer working in South Africa for Médecins Sans Frontières

“…I’m sick and tired of using plasters to patch up gaping wounds. I need something I can really work with, something that can save lives. We need a new treatment regimen against TB that actually works. Treatment that has not been dredged up from the dark ages of modern medicine and reused because, well, it’s better than nothing. … The only way to beat this disease is for governments, donors, pharmaceutical firms and research organizations to find new combinations of drugs that are simple, accessible and more tolerable than current treatment and can be implemented rapidly in countries where DR-TB is rife…” (3/24).

The Guardian: Tuberculosis: waging a new war on an old disease
Brian Brink, chief medical officer at Anglo American

“…In this day and age, there is no reason why people should be dying of TB. With early diagnosis and early, effective treatment for both HIV and TB, supported by an integrated health information and management system and with continuity of personalized care, it can be beaten…” (3/24).

The Hill: On World TB Day, TB is not dead
Kari Stoever, vice president of external affairs for Aeras

“…Despite longstanding recognition by the U.S. government of the importance of new TB vaccines, support for TB vaccine research and development has been limited. This must change. … Decades of research have taught us much about the TB epidemic, leading to a robust pipeline of vaccine candidates being tested in the clinic today. This World TB Day, let those lessons inform our future. Alongside its current TB programs, the U.S. government must improve support for the ultimate TB solution: contribute to the global effort to develop new TB vaccines. It’s an investment that makes sense” (3/24).

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