WHO to request $30 bln to combat TB at G8 summit - official
LONDON, May 18 (RIA Novosti) - The World Health Organization intends to ask G8 member states to raise $30 billion for the fight against tuberculosis at the group's Russia summit in July, a WHO official said.
The WHO's TB supremo for Russia, Dr. Wieslaw Jakubowiak, said the organization planned to raise the money in the next 10 years.
"Our task is to ensure that TB wouldn't be lost during the discussion by the more fashionable diseases like HIV/AIDS and avian flu," he said.
Jakubowiak said $56 billion was necessary to eradicate the disease across the world and that the WHO already had about $26-27 billion for this purpose.
"To do this we need ... leadership from G8 countries and support for the Global plan and to reach Millennium Development Goals," he said
He said that earlier this year the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015 was approved in Davos, Switzerland. The plan was proposed by British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
The plan aims to halt and start to reverse the incidence of TB by 2015, to save an additional 14 million lives, to put 3 million TB patients coinfected with HIV onto antiretrovirals, and to treat 800,000 people for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
"According to estimations made by the WHO, two regions probably will not reach Millennium Development Goals by 2015 - Africa and Eastern Europe," Jakubowiak said. "We need to undertake all measures and implement all the proposals to support these regions in reaching Millennium Development Goals. Without proper leadership, without financial support we can't do it."
Jakubowiak said he was upbeat about Russia's efforts ahead of the summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations in St. Petersburg, slated for July 15-17, particularly regarding the spread of infectious diseases.
"We are organizing bilateral meetings with all G8 countries with professionals from the Stop TB program and Stop TB Partnership," he said. "We've been [talking to] experts [and] government representatives [about] our interest and plans and possible solutions. We are working in close contact with Russian governmental representatives."
The Russian Health Ministry reported that 120,000 TB cases were registered in Russia in 2005. Almost 32,000 of the cases were fatal.