On World TB Day 2017, If Europe is serious about ending the epidemic of tuberculosis by 2030, EU leaders need to commit more funding and support for global health innovation.
Brussels, March 23, 2017: Ahead of World TB Day 2017 on March 24, and as part of the international campaign “Unite to end TB”, DSW is calling for European politicians to recognise the urgent need for investment in TB research. Without serious funding for research into new vaccines, drugs, and other treatments, we will not be able to end the epidemic of TB by 2030, or deal with the growing global danger of anti-microbial resistant TB.
Renate Bähr, Executive Director of Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), speaking on the eve of World TB Day 2017, said: “TB is now the world’s deadliest infectious disease, but we are trying to stem its spread through the use of outdated and largely ineffective vaccines and drug treatments. However, unlike more high-profile and recent disease epidemics, public funding for research into TB has stagnated in the last decade.
DSW: “imperative for EU leadership even greater now” on World TB Day 2017
“If we – as part of the Sustainable Development Goals – are to end TB by 2030, then we need the EU and European governments to aggressively accelerate its investments on global health R&D. With other major funders like the US government threatening to massively cut funding in this area, the imperative for EU leadership is even greater now.”
TB now kills more people around the world than any other infectious disease. According to the latest World Health Organization statistics, there were 10.4 million new cases of TB and 1.8 million deaths caused by TB in 2015 alone. Efforts to eradicate the disease are hampered by the lack of a cure for the disease, and the lack of an effective and modern vaccine. The paucity of the current tools is increasingly relevant and worrisome given the rise of strains of TB that are resistant to existing antibiotics. If left unchecked, anti-microbial resistance will kill an estimated 10 million people every year, and a quarter of those deaths (2.5 million) will come from drug-resistant TB.
Imagine2030 – EU R&D investment needed for major medical breakthroughs
2017 provides several opportunities for the EU to commit to increased funding over the next decade that could revolutionise how we tackle diseases like TB. To make sure this happens – through the revision of Horizon 2020, the EU’s annual budget, and through the planning of the EU’s next multi-year budget programme – DSW launched the “Imagine2030: invest in innovation. End diseases of poverty” campaign in December 2016.
The campaign calls for a world without diseases of poverty by 2030, achieved through European funding for research into diseases of poverty, specifically poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases. By scaling up EU research funding, we can respond to the urgent need for new vaccines, new drugs and better diagnostic tools for tuberculosis.
Communications Officer, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
T: +32 (0) 2 504 90 66
Notes to the Editor
- Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services and supplies, and to securing their right for a brighter future. We achieve this by engaging in gender sensitive advocacy, capacity development, and family planning initiatives. With our headquarters Germany, DSW maintains offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as liaison offices in Berlin and Brussels. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.