Financing Care and Control of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Western Pacific Region Meeting

Financing Care and Control of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Western Pacific Region Meeting

 {Photo credit: WHO, Western Pacific Regional Office}Participants of the 10th National TB Programme Managers Meeting in the Western Pacific Region in Manila, Philippines.Photo credit: WHO, Western Pacific Regional Office

Tuberculosis (TB) has surpassed HIV and AIDS as the number one infectious killer worldwide, and in many countries, TB remains a major cause of death, sickness, and poverty. Major challenges to TB care and control include increases in drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) and reductions in donor funding.

It is crucial, therefore, that governments develop sustainable TB care and control delivery and financing mechanisms in the context of universal health coverage (UHC) programs.

Earlier this month I presented on this topic and MSH’s experience supporting TB program costing, economic analysis, and financing in Indonesia, at the 10th National TB Programme Managers Meeting in the Western Pacific Region in Manila, Philippines. With assistance from MSH under the US Agency for International Development (USAID) TB CARE I project, the Indonesian government has been a leader in South East Asia in terms of projecting financing needs, looking at cost-effective interventions, and working with the private health sector and national insurance scheme to expand coverage and ensure quality of care.

The March 1 to 4 meeting, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific, was attended by National TB Control Program Managers and WHO advisors from fifteen countries in the region, as well as representatives of USAID, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Damien Foundation, International Council of Nurses, International Organization for Migration, The Research Institute for Tuberculosis, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis, KNCV, and FHI 360. 

A critical topic for health impact is addressing MDR-TB. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), has described the global threat of “a post-antibiotic era,” as: “in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it… Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.” Strengthening TB care and control systems around the world is crucial in helping countries deal with this challenge. Amy Bloom of USAID talked at the meeting about the US White House’s National Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis, which covers US and international activities and is part of the National Strategy for Combating Anti-Microbial Resistant Bacteria.

[Learn how MSH strengthens country-led, country-owned systems to manage and address anti-microbial resistance]

Participants also discussed the regional framework for action, UHC and social protection, legal and regulatory frameworks, TB in high-risk populations, patient-centered care, TB control in migrant populations, and TB research and innovation.

[Learn more about MSH’s work on TB]

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