A great step forward to end TB: the White House’s action plan for combating MDR-TB and XDR-TB

23 December 2015, Geneva, Switzerland - Yesterday, the White House launched the National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis ("the action plan"), and called on both domestic and global partners to take real action against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB).

The action plan sets out targeted interventions to be implemented to address the core domestic and global challenges posed by MDR-TB and XDR-TB.

It would require strong collaboration with the secretary of state, the secretary of health and human services, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and heads of other relevant departments and international partners over the plan's five-year span, which ends in 2020.

"TB - in either fully sensitive or resistant forms - is an airborne disease. The United States have a little more than 100 cases of MDR-TB per year but understood the global health threat TB represents and launched this very ambitious and timely action plan. We need to begin implementing it right now, therefore the funding for it needs to be secured if we want to reach the great targets it sets. For example, in 2016, we need to ensure that we initiate treatment for 25 percent of patients with MDR-TB in 10 countries with the highest burdens of MDR-TB.

The White House's launch of the action plan is a great step forward to ending TB, and it is exactly the type of high-level political commitment called for as part of the paradigm shift in the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020. I hope it will serve as an example for other countries, governments, and partners to take similar bold leadership. We can only end TB if we are willing to commit our hearts, minds, and resources to combating this terrible disease," said the Stop TB Partnership's Executive Director Dr Lucica Ditiu.

The Stop TB Partnership strongly welcomes the commitment by the United States government to fight MDR-TB and XDR-TB, and are ready to stand together with them, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and many of our key partners to successfully implement the action plan.

The White House statement can be found at http://go.wh.gov/VnbRBN and the USAID news release can be found at https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/fact-sheets/national-action-plan-combating-multidrug-resistant-tuberculosis.