Drug-resistant TB a 'blinking red' threat | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 08, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, February 08, 2019

Drug-resistant TB a 'blinking red' threat

Deadly, drug-resistant tuberculosis -- as lethal as Ebola and tough to treat in even the best hospitals -- is a "blinking red" worldwide threat, the head of a global health fund warned in an interview with AFP.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is on a mission to eradicate the three epidemics and plans to spend around $12 billion on it over the next three years.

"We should all be more worried about multidrug-resistant TB than we are. It gets nothing like the level of attention it should do," Peter Sands, Global Fund's head, told AFP during a visit to New Delhi.

Tuberculosis has become resistant to antimicrobials in an estimated 600,000 cases worldwide.

The disease "does not obey borders or need visas, nor pay attention to how wealthy you are. At the moment, about 25 percent of those 600,000 cases are being diagnosed and treated", said Sands, who became head of the organisation last year.

"If you look across the threats to global health security, this is one where the light should be blinking red."

The UN has set the goal of eradicating AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis epidemics by 2030.

"The blunt truth is that we are not on track for that ambition," Sands said.

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