Novartis donates 250 000 TB treatments to the Stop TB Partnership

19 May 2010 - Geneva - Dr Klaus M Leisinger, President and Managing Director of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, and Dr Hiro Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General, today signed a memorandum of understanding for the donation of 250 000 adult short-course TB treatments to the United Republic Tanzania through the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility (GDF).

This agreement, which will run through 2012, is the extension of a 2005-2008 memorandum of understanding through which the Novartis foundation provided Tanzania and Sri Lanka with a total of 253 095 TB treatments, also delivered by GDF.

"Novartis is happy to continue its support to Tanzania's very successful TB programme, with confidence that GDF will give the project the appropriate technical framework," Dr Leisinger said. The Novartis foundation works closely with the Tanzanian National Tuberculosis Programme of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

"We are grateful to Novartis and the Stop TB Partnership for supporting TB control in my country through this project, which will help us sustain the progress we have achieved," said Prof David Mwakyusa, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Tanzania ranks 15th on the list of 22 high-burden TB countries in the world. Because of improved quality of services and evaluation, Tanzania has exceeded the Global Plan to Stop TB treatment success target of 85% since 2007.

"This agreement between Novartis, the Global Drug Facility and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania is an example of partnership at its best," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "We thank Novartis for this generous contribution and hope that others in the private sector will investigate innovative ways they can contribute to the global fight against TB."