JOURNAL ARTICLE

Working towards TB elimination the WHO Regional Strategic Plan (2006-2015)

Nani Nair, Erwin Cooreman
Journal of Communicable Diseases 2006, 38 (3): 185-90
17373351
DOTS has expanded rapidly in the South-East Asia Region over the period of the Partnership's first Global Plan (2001-2005), with almost 100% geographical coverage achieved in 2005. All countries have made impressive progress in improving coverage and quality. This progress has been made possible through strong political commitment and large investments in TB control for improved infrastructure, reliable drug supply, increased staffing, improved laboratory services, and intensified training and supervision. Accomplishing the objectives outlined in this document will require sustaining the progress in all countries and particularly in the five high burden countries for achieving major regional and global impact. National TB programmes will need to be supported to maintain or surpass the 70% case detection and 85% treatment success rates. The achievement of the TB-related targets linked to the MDGs will also depend on how effectively initiatives such as DOTS-Plus, PPM DOTS and interventions for TB/ HIV among others, are implemented. National governments and development partners must fulfill their commitments to mobilizing and sustaining adequate resources to support the full range of activities envisaged. The benefits of full and effective implementation of all the planned interventions would be substantial. These will result in 20 to 25 million TB cases being treated in DOTS program mes and more than 150 000 drug-resistant cases receiving treatment through DOTS-Plus during the period 2006-2015. In addition, at least 250 000 HIV-infected TB patients may also receive anti-retroviral therapy. As a consequence, the prevalence of TB is expected to fall below 175/100 000 and the number of TB deaths is expected to fall to between 100 000 and 150 000 per year. There would also be substantial economic benefits given that TB disproportionately affects adults in their most productive years. Considering these aspects, it is expected that the TB incidence will decline significantly during this period so that the Millennium Development Goals would be met by or ahead of 2015.

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