Geneva, Switzerland - 6 March 2017 -- We would like to thank you for your signatures, endorsements and support!
Today, we delivered the letter to WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan requesting inclusion of mycobacterium tuberculosis in the WHO's Global Priority List of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery and development of new antibiotics.
This letter was signed so far by 40 of the leading institutions working in TB and Global Health as well as 261 individuals representing researchers, scientists, civil society and communities, clinicians, health workers, advocates and heads of agencies from all around the world.
TB People - the Eastern European and Central Asian Network of people with experience of TB - also delivered a letter today to WHO signed by 400 TB advocates.
These are in addition to the letters submitted by several partners and networks, such as The UNION, the TB Alliance and Global Coalition of TB Activists.
This is just the beginning of our campaign and we will not stop until we have the Global Priority List of antibiotic-resistant bacteria revised and mycobacterium tuberulosis included in it.
Let's keep the momentum and the incredible unity created among all of us to further pursue our agenda in ensuring TB is recognized and addressed as a global health threat, a security threat, a driver of anti-microbial resistance globally and a disease in incredible need of proper research and development attention and resources.
We are all in this, lets do it!
Dr Margaret Chan
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
cc: ADG Ren
6 March 2017
Global TB community demands inclusion of mycobacterium tuberculosis in the WHO’s Global Priority List of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery and development of new antibiotics.
Dear Dr Chan, Dr Ren, Dr Kieny and Dr Inoue,
We are writing to you collectively as the representatives of the global TB community to express our deepest concerns about the exclusion of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within WHO’s first-ever ‘global priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery and development of new antibiotics’, published on 27 February 2017.
While the list is a great initiative to guide us towards a world without resistance to antibiotics, it is outrageous that Mycobacterium tuberculosis was left out of consideration, for the reason that ‘it is already a globally established priority’. In other words, TB was not considered for inclusion in a global priority list, because it is evidently a global priority. This explanation defies reason.
TB’s exclusion sends the false and counterproductive message that drug-resistant TB is not a public health threat. As we are well aware, TB is the world’s leading infectious disease killer and drug-resistant TB is responsible for one-third of all AMR deaths. It also provides the wrong impression that funding for TB R&D has been secured, though we know that the TB R&D funding available represents barely 30% of the needs and has been declining for the least three years.
Dr. Chan, we acknowledge and thank you for the statement on 28 February in which you clearly highlighted that "Addressing drug-resistant TB research is a top priority for WHO and for the world".
However, we, the undersigned individuals and organizations, demand that you show strong leadership by facilitating the timely review of the Global priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery and development of new antibiotics in order to include mycobacterium tuberculosis on it.
This review should be conducted without any further delay to include its findings within the ‘full protocol and results’ to be published on the WHO website no later than end of May 2017.