22 May 2009 -- Geneva -- Following a two-day discussion, the World Health Assembly today passed resolution WHA 62.15, "Prevention and control of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis". The Resolution agrees to strengthen measures to make access to M/XDR-TB diagnosis and quality treatment universal and endorses strict quality standards for the provision of anti-TB drugs and efforts to limit their misuse.
At the start of the Assembly there appeared a possibility that debate on the Resolution would be deferred because of the need for extensive discussions on Influenza A (H1N1) and the fact that the Assembly had been shortened to five days. But several WHO Member States intervened, stressing that passage of this resolution was an urgent matter and could not wait.
Research for new TB diagnostics, medicines and vaccines is prioritized under the resolution through support for extra financing. At the same time, WHO will also work with Member States to develop national TB response plans that will prevent more people from getting drug-resistant tuberculosis, and diagnose and treat those who do.