Union intervention on TB at World Health Assembly urges rapid adoption of WHO guidance to accelerate delivery of new tools

The Union today read out the following intervention at the 70th World Health Assembly urging Member States to ensure WHO guidance is rapidly adopted and implemented to ensure timely scale-up and access to new tools for TB prevention.

‘The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) notes the END TB strategy pillar 3 on intensified Research and Innovation and the mention of the need for rapid uptake of the current new tools. With new drugs and diagnostics developed in the last few years, and on-going trials with new drugs and regimens, it is important that the WHO ensures a process to rapidly update their guidance and ensure complementarity with existing guidelines so that the latest evidence is translated into practice as soon as possible.

We urge member states to ensure WHO guidance is rapidly adopted and implemented to ensure timely scale-up and access to new tools for TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including the 9-month MDR-TB treatment regimen recommended by WHO in May 2016.

We thank the WHO for their support for the 3P Project, a new and innovative way of incentivising TB R&D with the aim of developing a pan-TB regimen that is affordable and accessible contributing to the END TB targets.

We urge Member States to design and implement TB prevention, care and support interventions based on the acknowledgement that all people have a right to know their TB status and to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.

We call on Member States to pursue integrating psychosocial support as a routine aspect of TB care for individuals and families when needed, particularly as it regards care for drug-resistant TB. Poor mental health is both a risk factor for tuberculosis as well as a potential adverse effect of TB treatment.

We thank the WHO and Stop TB Partnership for facilitating the process of preparation of the UNGA High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018 together with the UNSG Office, the UN GA Presidency, and Member states, and encourage Member State participation at the highest level of state and government. 

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