WHO/Europe

New WHO report shows that transparency and cooperation help to reduce high prices for new medicines

As the number of new medicines introduced in Europe rises, governments are finding it increasingly difficult to afford them, according to a comprehensive study released today by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The study illustrates the challenges for national health systems, with specific examples, and shows that few countries in the WHO European Region have mechanisms in place to evaluate the cost–effectiveness of new drugs; this hampers the value-assessment and decision-making processes.

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Each day 1000 people fall sick with tuberculosis in the European Region

Tuberculosis cases down by 6% in 2013 – pace too slow to reach elimination this century. Rates of MDR-TB remain at very high levels, making the European Region the most affected area of the entire world.

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Second Advisory Committee meeting for the new TB Action Plan of the WHO European Region, 2016–2020

The Joint Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Programme (JTH) held the second meeting of the Advisory Committee for the new TB Action Plan of the WHO European Region, 2016–2020. The meeting was held on Wednesday 4 March 2015 at the Regional Office in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Committee includes representatives from high- and low-TB-incidence countries, patient representatives and key partner organizations, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and WHO headquarters.The meeting was an important milestone for reviewing the strategic directions, targets and areas of interventions of the new Action Plan, as well as inputs received from the European Technical Advisory Group on Tuberculosis Control (TAG-TB) and the Regional Consultation meetings held at the Regional Office 25-27 November 2014. 

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Medical supplies from WHO reach Donetsk as part of UN aid convoy

Several metric tonnes of medical aid procured by WHO reached Donetsk in Ukraine this week as part of the convoy of humanitarian aid delivered by UN agencies. WHO’s contribution consisted of HIV and tuberculosis medical products, HIV test systems and drugs to treat infections in people with weak immunity.

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WHO increases humanitarian efforts as crisis in Ukraine continues

The members of the health cluster for Ukraine, under WHO’s leadership, came together on 11 February to discuss status reports from local field offices and strengthen the response to the growing humanitarian crisis. The reports included information on the provision of health care to children, the activities of medical emergency public health units (MEPUs), Roma communities and centres for internally displaced persons (IDPs), and updates on health information tools and needs assessments. The following briefly highlights WHO activities in the region.

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Belarus pilots new financial model to strengthen ambulatory tuberculosis care

A WHO/Green Light Committee mission visited Belarus on 1–5 December 2014, to monitor the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and review a pilot financing project.

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Report of the joint ECDC and WHO review of the national tuberculosis programme in Bulgaria

The report outlines the results of the joint ECDC and WHO review of the Bulgarian National Tuberculosis Control Programme. The programme of the review included visits to national institutions involved in tuberculosis prevention and control, primary healthcare facilities, regional hospitals including laboratories, the hospital for treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, a prison hospital, regional health inspectorates, and non-governmental organisations. The team was supported by national experts.

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Correspondence article “Conflict and drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ukraine” just published in The Lancet

The WHO Regional Office TB and M/XDR-TB Control Programme and the Country Office in Ukraine just published a correspondence article in The Lancet. The article, entitled “Conflict and drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ukraine”, highlights the critical health needs with a focus on the TB and MDR-TB situation in the country as a result of the ongoing conflict.

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WHO to cooperate more closely with Romania on improving TB services

WHO/Europe will strengthen its partnership with Romania to improve the quality and delivery of tuberculosis (TB) services, turn the tide against drug-resistant TB, and accelerate the implementation of structural health system reforms in the country. These were the main themes of a high-level visit to Romania on 13–14 October 2014 by Dr Hans Kluge, Director, Division of Health Systems and Public Health and Special Representative of the Regional Director to prevent and combat multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant (M/XDR) TB, Dr Marc Sprenger, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and Mr Nicolas Cantau, Regional Manager of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

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Advisory Committee meeting for the new TB Action Plan of the WHO European Region, 2016–2020

3 October 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark - The TB and M/XDR-TB Control Programme (TBM) held the first meeting of the Advisory Committee on Friday, 3 October, at the Regional Office in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss the new TB Action Plan for the WHO European Region 2016–2020. The Committee includes representatives from high- and low-TB-incidence countries, patient representatives and key partner organizations, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and WHO Headquarters.

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