The WHO Regional Office for Europe’s policy is to end tuberculosis (TB) in all Member States in the Region by 2020 by achieving universal access to high-quality and timely prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of TB.
The WHO TB action plan for the European Region 2016–2020 aims to end TB and ensure that no affected family has to face catastrophic costs due to the disease. This vision is based on the principle of equity and on leaving no one behind, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, and is consistent with the global End TB Strategy and the Health 2020 European health policy framework.
The action plan builds on previous achievements to address current challenges and sets the following targets towards ending TB in the Region by 2020:
- 35% reduction in TB deaths;
- 25% reduction in the TB incidence rate; and
- 75% treatment success rate among drug-resistant TB patients.
Implementing the action plan would mean saving an estimated 3.1 million lives, curing 1.4 million patients and preventing 1.7 million new cases of all forms of TB. With an estimated cost of US$ 15 billion, the plan should prove highly cost-effective, resulting in savings of US$ 48 billion in terms of lives saved and avoidable suffering prevented.
Within the three pillars of the global End TB Strategy (integrated patient-centred care and prevention; bold policies and supportive systems; and intensified research and innovation), the action plan details:
- a set of clear actions for all countries (including those with low numbers of new TB cases), for partners and for WHO;
- multidisciplinary interventions to address social determinants and prevent and manage TB/HIV coinfection and other comorbidities through health system and public health approaches that are disease-specific.
The action plan was developed by WHO/Europe through a participatory process, and was endorsed by Member States in 2015. A roadmap was also created to support its full implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The European Technical Advisory Group on Tuberculosis Control (TAG-TB)
WHO/Europe’s TB policy benefits from advice from TAG-TB. This group provides independent reviews and technical opinions on TB to the WHO Regional Director for Europe, particularly on areas related to TB prevention and care in the European Region.