Stop TB Partnership

Stop TB Partnership

March 24, 2005 00:01 ET

Stop TB Partnership : Canadian-Funded Drug Facility Proves Major Success in Global Fight Against Tuberculosis



MARCH 24, 2005 - 00:01 ET

Stop TB Partnership : Canadian-Funded Drug Facility
Proves Major Success in Global Fight Against

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 24, 2005) -

Life-saving drugs are treating and curing millions of TB patients in the
world's poorest countries for $12-14

The Global Drug Facility (GDF) - an innovative scheme launched with
Canadian funding in 2001 to provide high quality TB drugs for low income
countries - completed its fourth year of operations today with the
release of a new report that GDF has now provided drugs for 4.4 million
TB patients in 58 countries around the world, nearly all with average
per capita incomes of under $1,000.

The report was presented at a press conference in Ottawa by Dr. Marcos
Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership that operates
GDF from its small suite of offices in Geneva, Switzerland. Joining him
in the event were Hon. Aileen Carroll, the Canadian Minister for
International Cooperation, and Melissa Phypers, president of Stop TB

"The Global Drug Facility is a major success for public health that has
served as a model for subsequent initiatives launched by the World
Health Organization to provide drugs for malaria and HIV/AIDS," Dr.
Espinal said. "The GDF is also very much a success story for the
government of Canada, whose visionary aid provided its start-up funding
and constitutes the largest share of GDF's total budget of $55 million
to date."

As a prerequisite for GDF support, all countries must implement DOTS(i),
the internationally recommended strategy against TB which the World Bank
has called "one of the most cost-effective of all health interventions."
Based on average DOTS cure rates for TB patients, 3.8 million lives will
be saved by the drugs GDF has provided - more than 20 times the number
of people killed by the tsunami that struck southeast Asia last December.

GDF's impact can be seen in the rapid scale-up of DOTS programs globally
since 2001, which during that time have increased the number of TB
patients they treat by two thirds to more than 3 million each year.

"As a founding donor to the Global Drug Facility, Canada is proud of its
success and life-saving work in the fight against tuberculosis,"
Minister Carroll said. "In its four years of operation, the facility has
become one of the most cost-effective and efficient channels to control
TB, ensuring that high-quality drugs are made available to those most in
need at the lowest possible price. In real numbers, this means that
close to four million TB sufferers will be cured of this disease,
thereby allowing them to lead healthy and productive lives. Through
strengthened support for the GDF and working in collaboration with the
Stop TB Partnership, Canada is committed to reducing the global burden
of TB and achieving the Millennium Development Goals."

The Stop TB Partnership, housed by WHO in its Geneva headquarters, is a
broad-based social movement comprising 325 members that include the
World Bank, CIDA, USAID, DFID and other donor institutions; leading
technical agencies like WHO, CDC and the International Union Against TB
and Lung Disease; foundations; NGOs; universities; advocacy
organizations like Results-Resultats Canada and Stop TB Canada; and
patient activist groups.

World TB Day occurs every 24th of March and is coordinated by the Stop
TB Partnership to raise awareness about TB internationally.

(i)DOTS is the internationally recommended strategy for controlling
TB and consists of five elements:
Government commitment to TB control
Diagnosis through bacteriology and an effective laboratory network
Standardised short-course chemotherapy with full patient support
throughout treatment
Uninterrupted supply of quality-assured drugs
Recording and reporting to measure patient and program outcomes


Contact Information

    Results-Resultats Canada
    Alec Soucy or Lynn Dickson
    (613) 562 9240, (613) 255 0418 (mobile)
    Stop TB Partnership Secretariat
    Michael Luhan
    Communication Adviser
    +41 22 791 1379
    Stop TB Partnership Secretariat
    Thad Pennas
    Advocacy Officer
    +41 22 791 1651