Browsing articles in "Tuberculosis"
15 November 2016
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Board Meets in Switzerland

This week, the Board of the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will meet in Switzerland to decide how much money countries around the world will receive to help the millions of people living with these deadly diseases.

In September, the Global Fund Replenishment raised over $12.9 billion over three years of which Australia committed AUD $220 million.

  • TB kills one person every 18 seconds
  • AIDS kills one person every 20 seconds
  • Malaria kills one person every 30 seconds (mainly children under 5 years old)

It is time to #EndItForGood

31 May 2016
Shawn Clackett

Papua New Guinea: TB keeps hospital shut, says Kaluvia

From The National, page 15, Friday 20 May 2016

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Chief executive officer of the Kundiawa General Hospital Mathew Kaluvia says the hospital has remained closed and quarantined to prevent the spread of multiple drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

Kaluvia said the hospital board and management have made a decision until the temporarily wards built for MDR-TB patients are completed.

“For public safety, we closed down the hospital because we do not have a facility to cater for this drug resistant TB patients.

“TB, unlike other diseases, spreads through the air and it is a threat to public health.

“Therefore, we are strictly monitoring the situation. We are keeping the patients in the cancer ward and the construction of the ward is nearing completion.

We are possibly looking at opening the hospital on Monday next week (30 May 2016),” Kaluvia said.

He said a team from the National Department of Health visited the hospital last week.

“So we are waiting for their recommendations on what actions to take.

“But we are very grateful to the provincial government and the governor for their full backing in dealing with the situation,” Kaluvia said.

“We received another K100,000 from the Governor Noah Kool last Monday and we are using it to speed up the construction of the temporary wards.

20 February 2016
Shawn Clackett

Abd Al Gader’s Story

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Abd Al Gader could barely walk when he arrived at a refugee camp in Jordan fleeing the war in Syria. After receiving treatment for TB, the 12-year-old is strong enough to play football and attend one of the camp’s schools.

Read Story on the Global Fund Website

Abd Al Gader, a 12-year-old with big, dark eyes, could barely walk when he arrived at the Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian desert after escaping the war in Syria. Suffering from tuberculosis and having run out of medicine, Abd Al Gader fled with his family from their farm east of Damascus with the few belongings they could carry and embarked on a dangerous journey towards safety.

Abd Al Gader’s cough worsened as the family trekked for days, sleeping in the open during cold, February nights and enduring shelling and thieves, before finally reaching the border. “We lost our crops and our house was destroyed,” said the boy’s father, Awash. “I feared for his life. That is when I decided we had to leave.”

In Zaatari, the family settled into a tentAbd Al Gader resumed his TB treatment at the camp’s clinic. Today, cured of the disease, he is strong enough to play football with his friends in a dusty pitch and to attend one of the camp’s schools.

In cooperation with local and international partners, the Global Fund is supporting the provision of essential TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment services to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. The assistance comes from the Global Fund’s Emergency Fund, a special initiative to provide quick, flexible access to funds to respond to HIV, TB and malaria in acute emergency situations.

Tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease spread from person to person through the air, can move quickly in close quarters like a crowded refugee camp. Stopping TB is necessary, not only to protect refugees immediately at risk, and also to free up critical resources within refugee settings to treat basic illnesses, which are chronic in emergency situations like the Syria crisis. Since the outbreak of the conflict, more than 4 million Syrians have sought shelter in neighboring countries, mostly in overcrowded camps like Zaatari and in informal settlements with no or limited access to health services. Infectious diseases such as TB are increasing the burden on already overstretched public health systems.

“To defeat these diseases we must follow the people wherever they are, regardless of their status, circumstance, or ethnic and religious background,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Partnerships like this give us the flexibility to respond quickly and better serve the people in need.”

Global Fund grants in the region are funding interventions that include TB diagnostics and treatment, screening of refugees upon arrival, strengthening referral services, training of health workers and raising awareness of the disease. The International Organization for Migration is implementing the programs in collaboration with WHO and the National Tuberculosis Programs of Jordan and Lebanon.

Since the program started, there have been more than 400 confirmed cases of TB in Jordan and Lebanon and four cases of multidrug-resistant TB in Jordan (according to 2014 data, the latest available), and the success rate of TB treatment among Syrian refugees is 90 percent. The Global Fund is extending emergency interventions in Lebanon and Jordan, and providing funding for TB services for Syrian refugees in Iraq.

The Zaatari camp now houses 79,000 refugees. Like most refugees, Abd Al Gader’s family first moved into tents, later replaced by prefabricated shelters. The father has built a kitchen and bathrooms, but dreams of returning to Syria one day. Abd Al Gader’s cough is now gone, but needs to pause to catch his breath when he plays football. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, his eyes light up: “I want to be a football player for Barcelona FC.” He pauses, then adds: “Or maybe an architect and rebuild Syria.”

12 February 2016
Shawn Clackett

To Be or Not To Be Exclusive: The Sutezolid Story

The Lancet
By Jane Andrews
February 2016

I arrived at the Johns Hopkins University campus with a sense of déjà vu; it was my first visit to my alma mater in years. I had travelled to Baltimore for a meeting about the licensing of sutezolid, a much-awaited drug candidate for treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The research faculty, technology transfer officers, university administration, and advocates at the meeting felt the weight of the responsibility. We knew that licensing a tuberculosis drug candidate could be a historic event. Frustratingly, in the past 40 years the world has added only two new drugs to the arsenal against tuberculosis, the second most deadly infectious disease on the planet. The statistics are infuriating: more than 9 million people developed tuberculosis in 2013, and an estimated 44% of those in countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea have resistance to at least one of the second-line agents for tuberculosis treatment.

Horrifically, only one of two people treated for multidrug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis are cured, and the toxic 2-year treatment regimen involves thousands of pills and hundreds of injections. For extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) the cure rate drops to 20%. With new agents like sutezolid being used in combination with other drugs, we might be on the brink of being able to save more lives with less toxicity. Sutezolid, originally U-100480, began development alongside linezolid in 1996. Even then it showed favourable pharmacokinetic properties, efficacy against drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, and low toxicity in rat models.  After lying undeveloped for several years in the hands of Pfizer and others, there is a new window of opportunity for the drug. Sequella, a pharmaceutical corporation, acquired the licence for the development and commercialisation of sutezolid from Pfizer in 2011. However, Johns Hopkins University still owns some key pieces of the intellectual property.

Full story

27 January 2016
Shawn Clackett

Latest Global Fund Results

See full story at http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/results/

Malaria Photo

The Global Fund’s cumulative results, as of end 2015, show strong progress in supporting programs that aim to end HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. The latest results show that Global Fund grants have supported:

8.6 million people currently on treatment for HIV

 

3.3 million HIV-positive women receiving treatment to prevent HIV transmission during pregnancy

 

470 million people conciliated and tested for HIV

 

7.8 million orphans and vulnerable children provided with care and support

 

5.2 billion condoms distributed

 

16 million people treated for TB/HIV co-infection

 

15 million cases of tuberculosis treated

 

230,000 people treated for multidrug-resistant TB

 

600 million mosquito nets distributed

 

61 million homes and buildings sprayed to eliminate mosquitoes

 

560 million people treated for malaria

 

470 million disease prevention activities

 

29 million HIV-positive people receiving care and support

 

16.1 million training sessions for health workers

 

 

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