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WHO’s New Treatment, Testing Recommendations For Drug-Resistant TB ‘Offer Hope’

Huffington Post: A Turning Point in the Battle Against Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health and child and maternal survival coordinator at USAID, and Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Global TB Program

“…[T]wo new recommendations [on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)] from WHO offer hope. The first, on a shorter treatment regimen for MDR-TB patients, and the second, on a rapid diagnostic to guide its use. These recommendations can be lifesaving to the majority of MDR-TB patients globally. … However, the implementation of these new recommendations may take time and present some challenges at country level. WHO and USAID are working closely with technical and funding partners to ensure adequate resources and support for the uptake of the rapid test and shorter, cheaper regimen in countries. … While countries implement these new recommendations, research towards ultra-short regimens, such as those under trial by the TB Alliance and those supported by UNITAID, need to continue without distraction. … If we unite efforts and resources, we can forge ahead to end TB and MDR-TB” (5/12).