Civil society urges the Health & Food Safety EU Commissioner to plan coordinated response to tackle tuberculosis in Europe
More than 45 civil society organisations co-submitted a letter to the new EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety to use his role to champion the need for an improved response to the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) epidemic in the European region.
The initiaitve for this letter was spear headed by the TB Europe Coalition.
The letter brought to attention key conditions in the region that demonstrate the region’s failing in its duty to diagnose and treat TB. These key conditions include:
- Fifteen of the twenty-seven high MDR-TB burden countries in the world are situated in the region.
- The WHO European Region has the unwelcome accolade of having the highest percentage of new TB cases with MDR-TB.
- Out of the fifteen high MDR-TB burden countries in the region, four are within the border of the European Union, including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Bulgaria.
- Most importantly, TB is an airborne disease. In an increasingly globalised world and in an EU without internal boundaries, epidemics can easily spread from one country to another.
Ultimately, the letter urges the Commissioner to share his plans to ensure that from the 1st Eastern Partnership Ministerial Conference on Tuberculosis (TB) and Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis in Riga, Latvia (March 30-31, 2015) comes a coordinated response between the EC, Member States and neighbouring countries on how best to tackle the MDR-TB epidemic.
Source: TB Europe Coalition