Media advisory: Multidrug resistant TB “out of control” if we don’t act now

New WHO/Europe Roadmap to halt the spread

You are invited to the launch of WHO/Europe’s new Road map to prevent and combat drug resistant tuberculosis. It is to be held from 16:30 to 18:30 on Monday, 10 October 2011 at the International MDG-6 Forum, in Moscow, Russian Federation (address: World Trade Center, Moscow, Krasnopresnenskaya nab., 12; Conference Room 3). At the Forum, donors, international agencies and health decision-makers from Europe will discuss accelerated action to reach the Millennium Development Goal 6.

Multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB) is the result of inadequate treatment of tuberculosis and poor airborne infection control. Of the 27 countries worldwide with a high burden of MDR-TB, 15 are in the Region. Recent surveys indicate that in some settings up to 40% of new TB patients and up to 70% of previously treated patients may have drug resistant TB. From an estimated 81 000 MDR-TB patients in the Region, only one third are notified due to limited laboratory capacity and only two thirds of these are reported as receiving adequate treatment.

The panel

  • Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe
  • Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and
  • Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of StopTB Partnership

The launch will be followed by question and answer sessions.

What can be done?

If the new Road map is followed, it is calculated that interrupting the spread of MDR/TB would save 120 000 lives and save US$ 12 billion. The Road map helps countries to implement the new Consolidated Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Drug Resistant TB in the European Region, which was developed by WHO/Europe  in consultation with Member States, stakeholders and communities  It was endorsed by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe at its sixty-first session in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 15 September 2011.

The Road map will be available immediately after the launch.

For accreditation and interviews, please contact:

Elena Yankovskaya, Edelman Imageland
Tel.: + 7 (495) 785-22-55 (# 132)     
Mob.: + 7 (916) 246-83-35

For further questions, please contact:

Dr Masoud Dara
Programme Manager
Tel: + 45 39 17 13 78

Liuba Negru
Communication Officer,
Tel + 45 39 17 13 44
Mobile + 45 20 45 92 74