WHO press conference announces new developments to end TB

Thursday 27 October: A World Health Organization (WHO) press conference held today at the 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health presented a series of new policies and developments to end tuberculosis (TB).

Chaired by Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme, the session focused on a number of key areas including policy guidance on delamanid for children and adolescents; a new toolkit on developing national TB research plans and the first ‘Primer on Tuberculosis’ published in the journal Nature Reviews Disease Primers – a global resource covering recent advances in TB diagnosis and treatment.

Commenting on delamanid for children, Dr Raviglione said “The new recommendation brings us one step closer towards better treatment options for children.”

The session also included the launch of a factsheet outlining key actions needed to prioritise and address zoonotic TB (ZTB) as part of the global Sustainable Development Goals agenda and the WHO End TB Strategy.  Dr Paula Fujiwara, Scientific Director at The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease said, ‘We don’t know how many cases of ZTB there are in the world but we can estimate figures of around 1.5 million in 10 years from now.  If we are to eradicate TB, ZTB has to be addressed. Every case counts.”

The speakers at the press conference were: Dr Christian Lienhardt, Team Leader, Research for TB Elimination at WHO, Dr Paula Fujiwara, Scientific Director at The Union, and Dr Madhukar Pai, Director at McGill Global Health Programs.

Download the zoonotic fact sheet: http://www.who.int/tb/zoonoticTB.pdf

Nature Reviews Disease Primers: http://www.nature.com/nrdp/

Access the toolkit: http://www.who.int/tb/publications/TB_research_toolkit/en/