Lilly Explores MDR-TB Challenge at Union World Conference on Lung Health

Lilly Explores MDR-TB Challenge at Union World Conference on Lung Health

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Friday, November 1, 2013 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: Lilly Global Health Programs


Our guest blog comes from Lilly's Vice President of Global Health Programs and Access, Dr. Evan Lee.

This week, Lilly is joining delegates from 125 countries at the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Paris. We are discussing the latest scientific developments and program successes in the global fight against TB and other lung diseases.

It is an important moment for TB in particular. The World Health Organization’s new Global TB Report found that while encouraging progress is being made, an unacceptably high 8.6 million TB cases occurred in 2012. About three million of these cases were undiagnosed or undetected by national treatment programs. This is increasing the risk of severe illness and the development of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), which WHO has declared a public health crisis in many high-burden countries.

Improving TB treatment outcomes in the hardest hit countries takes collective efforts from individuals, communities, governments and donors. A powerful article in the New England Journal of Medicine brings this point home through the story of a South African patient who was recently cured of XDR-TB.

We’re also working to underscore the importance of partnership, including through a Lilly-sponsored symposium at the Union conference, “Putting the Puzzle Together: Meeting the MDR-TB Challenge.” During this session, we’ll examine the complexities of MDR-TB and identify successful models to guide future efforts. Various perspectives will be highlighted by panelists from high-burden countries – India, China, Russia and South Africa – as well as Lesotho, which is heavily affected by the HIV-TB co-epidemic. These include a young woman who survived MDR-TB, a community-based organization that is training pharmacists as a first point of contact, government perspectives, and a funder addressing health systems strengthening.

Read more about a TB success story.