U.S. Should Continue, Expand TB Technical Assistance

“Through [USAID], the [CDC], and [PEPFAR], the U.S. provides either directly or indirectly more than 70 percent of external technical assistance provided to national TB programs, according to WHO estimates. The U.S. also is a major supporter of the Global Fund, pledging nearly a third of the organization’s funding since its creation in 2002,” Nellie Bristol, a research fellow with the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, writes in the center’s “Smart Global Health” blog. Summarizing the findings of the WHO’s recently released global TB report, she writes, “But adequate funding continues to be an issue. TB already has the smallest budget of the three largest infectious disease programs prioritized by the U.S.” Bristol adds, “Donors other than the U.S. should increase contributions to ensure countries can tap the expertise they need to build sustainable, self-sufficient national TB programs that can effectively treat TB and reverse trends in drug resistance. In the meantime, U.S. efforts to help countries with the task need to continue, and to the extent possible, be increased” (10/30).