On 20th September the press conference dedicated to the tuberculosis (TB) threats took place at the ERS Congress, Barcelona. The leading experts of respiratory medicine threw light upon epidemic challenge of TB infection.
Professor Davide Manissero, Professor Giovanni Battista Migliori and
Professor Mario Raviglione
Professor Mario Raviglione spoke about TB control and WHO (World Health Organization) activity connected to tuberculosis, as namely under his guidance Stop TB Strategy of the WHO has been formulated. The question “How to establish international standards” was highly stressed by professor, because tuberculosis is preventable and curable, but the institution support, partnership between communities and health services varies from country to country. The lack of social justice and solidarity were represented as the society drawbacks which must be eliminated. Dr M. Raviglione mentioned the crucial role of vaccination as one of the most efficient preventive methods.
Professor Mario Raviglione
Professor Giovanni Battista Migliori, WHO Collaborating Centre for Control of TB and Lung Diseases presented a detailed overview of white plague in Europe and referred to the Top 19 countries with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) cases according to WHO Stop TB Department (Azerbaijan, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine ranking the top three). Furthermore, the causes of MDR TB, such as inadequate regimes provided by health-care systems, inadequate supply or quality of drugs and inadequate drug intake were thoroughly explained and the patient’s mismanagement was emphasized as the ultimate consequence. Thereupon, Dr Migliori related facts about the independent clinical collaborative research in Europe TBNET that was founded in 2006 and is now present in 23 EU member states in order to promote clinically oriented research in the field of tuberculosis in Europe. In the long run Dr Migliori pointed out that “science is not enough” as human concern, awareness and care are undoubtedly indispensable.
Professor Giovanni Battista Migliori
The press conference went on due to the presentation of Professor Davide Manissero, Tuberculosis Programme Coordinator from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control who discussed the two main challenges: wider access to diagnosis and ensuring treatment outcome. Dr. Manissero summarized the plans of introducing new diagnostics and ensuring access to new opportunities and testing. Besides, the facts concerning low treatment success rate among MDR TB were emphasized and the list of new drugs for MDR TB was considered.
Professor Davide Manissero
Finally, it was concluded that new diagnostics and new drugs need a solid base of knowledge of TB control basics, otherwise they will not be effective.
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1. World Health Organization: Drug- and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) http://www.who.int/tb/challenges/mdr/en/index.html (accessed October 9, 2010)
2. Working Group on New TB Drugs: www.newtbdrugs.org (accessed October 9, 2010)
3. Evidence Based Tuberculosis Diagnosis: http://tbevidence.org/tbdxpl.htm (accessed October 9, 2010)