Global collaboration is needed to combat tuberculosis (TB), says this editorial in The Lancet.
A major threat to this effort is drug resistance. Extensively drug-resistant TB has been found in 35 countries, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that US$650 million will be needed this year alone for its control.
Coinfection of TB patients with HIV is another important challenge, affecting around 11 million people worldwide. Yet clinical care for these diseases is often disjointed and TB and HIV/AIDS control programmes must have a more coordinated approach, says the editorial.
There is also a need for more synchronised funding approaches. HIV/AIDS research receives ten times more funds than TB research. The biggest shortfall occurs in Africa, where the disease burden is highest for both diseases.
The editorial does stress that TB control is working in some areas. According to the WHO, 26 countries achieved their 2005 targets. TB could be eradicated by 2050, but only if all countries commit to TB control and donors fund more effective delivery services in the developing world.Link to full article in The Lancet (requires free registration)