WHO’s new TB research framework to help high burden countries take leadership

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WHOTBResearchTo develop tools to meet the goals set out in the World Health Organization End TB strategy, which includes reducing tuberculosis incidence by 80 percent and deaths by 90 percent by 2035, last week the WHO announced the launch of a global action framework for tuberculosis research.

The framework outlines steps at global and national levels to advance tuberculosis research over the next ten years, with a particular focus on empowering high burden, low- and middle-income countries to develop a strong and self-sustained TB research community. “Countries with the biggest burdens of disease must be leaders in driving more energy and investment in research,” Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Global TB Program said in a statement accompanying the report.

On the national level countries should develop national plans for TB research, reach consensus on top priorities, build up research capacities, and build up domestic funding mechanisms to complement other resources for research.

On the global level, the framework calls for public and private institutions to catalyze TB research by securing and advocating for more funding, sharing innovations, and developing international networks for research and capacity building.

The WHO also announced a new team has been set up in its Global TB program to develop guidance tools for implementing the framework. The team will provide technical support to high TB burden countries to “stimulate, develop and strengthen activities on TB research and roll-out of new tools,” according to a release.

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