Written Answers | International Development: Tuberculosis

Posted on: 14th July 2011

Andrew George MP (St Ives, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans his Department has set to reduce multi-drug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in developing countries.

Stephen O’Brien (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, International Development; Eddisbury, Conservative)

The coalition Government recognises that drug resistant strains of tuberculosis (TB) pose serious threats to achieving the goals of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-15. We are therefore working with our partners to ensure that prompt quality diagnosis and effective treatment is available to those who need it.

Our support includes a 20 year commitment to UNITAID, the international facility for the purchase of drugs against HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB, of up to €60 million per year subject to performance. UNITAID aims to triple access to rapid tests for multi-drug resistant TB and to significantly reduce the price of drug resistant TB medicines. We also fund research to: develop easier to use diagnostics for drug resistant TB; new TB medicines; and in the longer-term, effective TB vaccines. We also fund operational research to improve health service delivery to diagnose and treat people with drug resistant TB.