G20 recognises urgency of addressing TB and drug resistance
RESULTS welcomes the G20 Leaders Statement released in Hamburg overnight and it’s call for a new platform to incentivise the research and development needed to tackle drug resistant infections, including tuberculosis (TB).
As the world’s leading infectious disease killer and the only airborne drug-resistant infection, TB is the nexus of the growing crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), when organisms no longer respond to available drugs.
Multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB is also responsible for one-third of the world’s AMR-related deaths – the single greatest cause of death linked to AMR.
“It was especially important to see explicit mention of tuberculosis which has caused the deaths of more than 20 million men, women, and children since G20 leaders first came together 12 years ago“ said Maree Nutt, CEO RESULTS International Australia – an organisation which has advocated global health issues, particularly TB, for many years.
Australia is a regional leader on TB, although our national rates are among the lowest in the world, the Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 60% of the world’s TB burden. PNG, our nearest neighbour, has some of the highest rates of MDR-TB in the world.
In addition, the G20 Leaders Statement called for an ‘international R&D Collaboration Hub’ to maximise the impact of research initiatives and ‘practical market incentive options’ to address the market failure that exists for drug resistant infections, including drug resistant TB.
“It was both important and encouraging to see the outline for a process to develop and begin testing new models to fund the development of these TB-related tools, since the market cannot or will not do so alone,” adds Ms Nutt.
“This provides a practical means to provide these new tools in a timely and cost-effective way which will enhance development outcomes for our region, and leverage the important investments and support Australia is already providing to support regional TB prevention and control.”
The prominent recognition of TB in an important global forum like the G20 represents another important dimension to the growing momentum for efforts to address TB, as demonstrated by the upcoming Global Ministerial Conference on ending TB Moscow in November, followed by the first ever UN High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in late 2018.
“The Australian government has shown great foresight and leadership on this important regional and global issue and it is good to see this now impacting globally,” says Ms Nutt.
The G20 (Group of 20) includes established economies such as Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea and major emerging nations such as China, India, South Africa and Turkey, as well as the European Union. G20 countries collectively account for more than three-quarters of global trade and are home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population.
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