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Plea to eliminate TB

Friday July 4th, 2014

Several European countries are in a position to take steps to eliminate the curse of tuberculosis from their borders, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

WHO lists 33 countries that could take steps to eliminate TB.

The list does not include the UK but does include 21 European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany, Greece together with four Scandinavian countries.

It also includes the USA, Israel and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

WHO launched new guidance on eliminating TB together with the European Respiratory Society.

It said that in the 33 countries, some 155,000 people a year succumb to TB and 10,000 people die.

WHO assistant director-general Dr Hiroki Nakatani said: "Low TB-burden countries already have the means to drive down TB cases dramatically by 2035.

“Universal health coverage, which ensures everyone has access to the health services they need without suffering financial hardship as a result, is the bedrock.  The key is to target smart TB interventions towards the people who need them most.”

Professor Giovanni Migliori, of the European Respiratory Society, said: “Powerful antibiotics and better living standards have almost pushed the disease out of many high-income countries. But we still have not succeeded.

"And if we do the wrong things now, TB could rebound, including with more drug-resistant forms."

Tags: Europe | Respiratory | UK News | World Health

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