27 Jul 2010

WHO claims Western Pacific at risk of losing fight against TB

8:04 pm on 27 July 2010

The World Health Organization is warning that the Western Pacific Region's gains in tuberculosis control over the last decade are at risk of being lost.

The WHO says this would happen unless drug-resistant TB, as well as TB-HIV co-infection, are urgently addressed.

More than 1.3 million patients in the Western Pacific Region are diagnosed with TB and nearly 90% of them are successfully treated every year.

The WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Shin Young-soo, says the TB epidemic tends to concentrate in vulnerable and marginalised populations who have limited access to health care and are difficult to reach.

The organisation says gaps in financial and technical support need to be covered to effectively address these challenges.