March 24, 2009 15:07 ET

CIDA's Increased Commitment to Fighting Tuberculosis is a Positive Step: RESULTS Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2009) - Canada's announcement today of $127.4 million to help fight the global TB epidemic is a positive step that will increase the capacity of developing countries to detect and treat tuberculosis (TB) and save countless lives, according to RESULTS Canada, a grassroots citizens advocacy group dedicated to creating the political will to end poverty.

"Every 20 seconds someone dies from TB," said RESULTS Canada Executive Director Chris Dendys. "TB is a devastating airborne and opportunistic disease that preys on the poor and takes 1.7 million lives every year. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that TB can be cured and treated for as little as $20."

"Today's announcement from CIDA, which comes on World TB Day, is an important step in positioning Canada as a global leader in TB control," said Dendys. "These new investments will ensure that more people are diagnosed, treated and cured."

TB is one of the leading infectious killers of women on the planet and the number one killer of people with HIV in Africa. In 2006, there were 9.2 million new cases reported. The vast majority of people who develop TB come from the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society. They are mostly young adults in their prime earning and child-rearing years.

"These investments not only provide an opportunity to measure progress in terms of lives saved, they also benefit communities and economies - as TB is a major drain on productivity and on health systems," said Dendys.

Today's $127 million commitment will support expanded TB control in three ways: $100 million to the newly established TB Reach Facility for accelerated case detection; $20 million for capacity building for TB control; and $7.4 million for the WHO Global TB Control Program.

"RESULTS Canada's network of grassroots volunteers have been raising awareness about the impact of TB, engaging government, and calling for increased resources for global TB control for many years," said Dendys. "This multi-year, and multi-project CIDA commitment responds to that call and is a positive step in support of poverty-focused aid."

Recently, the CIDA Minister recommitted to ensuring that our aid envelope increases by 8% in the coming year and that Canada will double aid to Africa. This increase in the aid envelope is crucial - and this life-saving initiative is a perfect example of where increased aid can and should be directed.

ABOUT RESULTS Canada- RESULTS Canada is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization committed to creating the political will to end global poverty.

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