What we’re reading: Realities to keep in mind when planning to eliminate TB and other diseases

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Open Letter by the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health — in the context of TB – When a preventable and treatable disease remains the world’s leading infectious killer, the reasons can be found in inequities that allow the disease to spread and kill. This open letter from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights points to failures to fund and practice cost-effective strategies that make quality services universally available. And while wealthy countries hang back from setting specific targets for the funding that will be needed to detect, prevent, and effectively treat tuberculosis in keeping with the upcoming United Nations High-Level meeting goal of ending the impacts of the disease, the letter suggests a start — double the amount being spent now.

All lives count. So should all deaths – Without accurate counts of the tolls of diseases, public health policies, funding and responses run on guess work. This op-ed argues that counting deaths is essential to saving lives.

Antimicrobial resistance threatens our security – A diminishing arsenal of effective antibiotics exacerbates the potential threats posed by ongoing deadly pandemics as well as by bioterrorism. The returns on new infection fighting drugs would be significant in individual lives saved, and in enhanced global and domestic public health security. But with the profits to pharmaceutical companies limited, incentives are necessary to spur the development of  essential new medicines, infectious diseases physician and former president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Dr. Barbara Murray writes in this opinion piece.


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