Tackling the Tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) epidemic means looking beyond the disease: experts meet to address its broader causes, including health financing

WHO/Europe convened the Eleventh Meeting of the National TB Programme Managers in London, United Kingdom, on 2–3 July 2012, in conjunction with the 6th Conference of the Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) Europe Region.

The National TB Programme Managers of the WHO European Region have witnessed the progressive merging of priorities for TB control interventions. Alarming rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB are significant challenges across the Region. This has led to new interest in identifying and addressing the health system weaknesses and social determinants of TB, with greater focus on innovative approaches for TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.

The Eleventh Meeting of the National TB Programme Managers provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities shared by all countries in the Region to implement the Consolidated Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Multidrug- and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the WHO European Region 2011–2015, along with resolution EUR/RC61/R7 passed during the sixty-first session of the WHO Regional Committee in Baku, Azerbaijanan – to achieve the tuberculosis targets of Millennium Development Goal 6 by 2015.

Working groups were held on health financing of TB and MDR-TB services looking at current patterns and possibilities for efficiencies, particularly in times of financial crisis.

The venue of the Programme Managers’ was the Imperial College London.