Two troubling TB stories this morning:
First, a study in the Lancet reports that MDR-TB is an increasing threat in the former Soviet Union and China.
“The countries of the former Soviet Union are facing a serious and widespread epidemic with the highest prevalence of MDR-TB ever reported in 13 years of global data collection,” the study concluded.
Second, there’s the news that Burma will face a severe shortage of TB drugs next year unless emergency funding is secured. Talk about a recipe for a new outbreak of drug-resistant TB. The Global Drug Facility currently supplies Burma with its TB drugs, but GDF decided to end the program because the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was supposed to step in. Except that the Global Fund’s program won’t start until 2011.
So that leaves a one-year gap in which potentially thousands of Burmese citizens with active TB won’t get needed medication. Here’s a story on the situation from the Irrawaddy.