Four-year national MDR-TB plan launched in Romania

2 October 2012 - Bucharest - Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, participated today in the launch of a four-year action plan for Romania, which uses a health-system perspective to prevent the emergence of drug-resistant TB and aims to provide early diagnosis and treatment of all types of TB, including MDR-TB. A variety of national and international partners, including civil-society organizations, were present at the launch event.

Speaking at the launch, Ms Jakab noted that the national plan aims to prevent 4500 cases of MDR-TB and, through prevention, diagnosis and treatment, save US$ 250 million. The multidisciplinary action plan is in line with the European action plan on multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB), launched in September 2011. WHO/Europe is supporting the 18 countries where TB is a high priority in scaling up their response by launching national action plans on M/XDR-TB.

The joint delegation from WHO/Europe and the European Commission met Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania, Vasile Cepoi, Minister of Health and other high-level health officials to discuss TB and other health issues, as well as follow-up mechanisms to support the country. The Government of Romania, WHO and the European Commission have pledged to prioritize TB and MDR-TB prevention and control as part of efforts to strengthen the country’s health system.