World TB Day 2015: Accelerating the pace to improve efficiency towards TB elimination

24 March 2015

Despite considerable progress made within the implementation of the WHO Consolidated action plan to prevent and combat multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in the WHO European Region 2011–2015 many challenges remain, such as multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB persisting at comparatively high levels, particularly in the so-called 18 high-priority countries, which see 85% of all new TB cases in the Region. These countries also account for most of the 38 000 TB-related deaths in 2013. Further achievements depend heavily on a more efficient use of current tools and interventions, to be complemented by new and more effective ones. Boosting scale-up of access to safe, rational and efficient new TB drugs, as well as innovations on rapid diagnosis and patient-centred care are needed to make a sustainable difference. 

The WHO Regional Office for Europe collaborates with its Member States to further ameliorate the quality of and equitable access to services in line with Health 2020: the European health policy framework. This has been contributing to improving the capacity of European countries to detect and treat patients including those with drug-resistant forms of TB.