Union Intervention at the 70th World Health Assembly on AMR

At the 70th World Health Assembly, The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung disease (The Union) calls on Member States to include tuberculosis (TB) as part of the response to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - particularly a need to combat the inadequacies of current vaccines, diagnostics and treatment for TB.

Grania Bridgden, Project Lead for the 3P Project of which The Union is a key partner, read the following Union intervention to the World Health Assembly.

‘The Union advances solutions to public health challenges affecting people living in poverty, including TB. It represents 17,000 members and subscribers active in more than 140 countries.

The Union and its members are battling daily with the challenge of preventing, diagnosing and treating drug-resistant TB. For many countries where Union members and beneficiaries are based, drug-resistant TB is the resistant infection for which they are at highest risk. Current vaccines, diagnostics and treatments are grossly inadequate. Drug-resistant TB is a crisis.

The response to antimicrobial resistance therefore must include a strong response to TB. Although the WHO has recently restated the importance of fighting TB as a priority pathogen, the exclusion of TB from its official list of priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens was problematic.

The Union, in partnership with 10 leading global health organisations, fully supports the 3P Project for the development of new combination treatments for TB in line with CEWG principles. We welcome the support of the WHO Global TB Programme, including its leading the development of Target Regimen Profiles that will support the 3P Project to produce a short TB regimen that will treat all forms of TB. We urge Member States to support this project for the development of new treatments for TB that are appropriate and affordable for all and ensure a proactive response to dealing with this priority pathogen.

The first-ever United Nations High-Level Meeting on tuberculosis in 2018 is a critical opportunity to ensure that necessary investments in research and development are mobilised for new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for TB and that Member States commit to adopt and implement the new guidance from WHO on diagnosis and treatment of TB, including using the shortened nine-month treatment regimen, as quickly as possible.’