Exciting Progress on Fighting TB at the EU!

New developments at the European Union are providing a boost to the fight against tuberculsosis in Europe!

The European Union yesterday launched a Written Declaration on the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis to the European region, released in the European Parliament. It contains recommendations calling on the European Commission and Council to financially and politically back the Global Fund 2013 replenishment and WHO Europe’s Roadmap on drug-resistant tuberculosis. It is backed by 14 MEPs from 6 different political groups and 10 different countries.

If the Written Declaration gets the support of at least the majority of the Members of the European Parliament (i.e. 377 signatories) in 3 months’ time, it will be forwarded to the legislative and executive branch of the European Institutions for follow-up -- potentially paving the way for stronger legislation on DR-TB in the future!

Read the full declaration!

MEP Claudiu Tănăsescu from Romania also read a speech in the plenary session of the European Parliament calling on EU Institutions to fully fund the Global Fund.

You can watch the video, or read the speech below

“Last week the European Commission hosted the pre-replenishment conference of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the years 2014-2016. The Global Fund announced that US$15 billion was necessary to effectively support countries to fight these three infectious diseases over the three-year period.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has provided AIDS treatment for 4.2 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 9.7 million people and 310 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund has become the main financier of over 1000 AIDS, TB and malaria programmes valued at over $22 billion in 151 countries.

A fully funded and effective Global Fund is critical if we are to defeat the three epidemics. We are at a critical moment. Progresses made so far will be reversed if we do not move forward to defeat these diseases. We can’t stop now. We have a historic opportunity to completely control these diseases within one generation. If we do not, the long-term costs will be staggering in terms of lives, loss of productivity and growth.

Taking the example of tuberculosis, a health threat that affects developing countries but also Europe and its neighbourhood, 80% of international financing to fight the disease comes from the Global Fund.

Within the context of the ongoing negotiations on the Multi financial Framework, I am therefore calling on the European Institutions to ensure that health is featured as a strong component of EU external instruments (DCI, EDF, ENPI) which would mean that 17 million patients with tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant TB could receive treatment, saving almost 6 million lives over this three-year period.”