Tuberculosis Prevention and Control

         The Regional Committee,

         Noting that tuberculosis kills more youths and adults than any other infectious disease in the world;

         Noting further that tuberculosis is re-emerging as a major public health problem in the Region, as demostrated by the steady increase in notified tuberculosis cases during the last decade and the fact that 29% of global tuberculosis cases are found in the Western Pacific Region;

         Noting that political commitment has not yet been translated into increased resources for tuberculosis control;

         Recognizing that tuberculosis is also a serious public health problem in newly industrialized and developed countries;

         Acknowledging that the directly-observed treatment, short course (DOTS) strategy is the most cost-effective way of controlling tuberculosis, saving the lives of patients and preventing the emergence of drug resistance;

         Expressing concern that only 46% of notified tuberculosis cases in the Region were enrolled in DOTS programmes in 1998;

         Expressing further concern at the negative impact of HIV on tuberculosis in some countries of the Region;

  1. DECLARES a ' Tuberculosis crisis ' in the Western Pacific Region;
  2. URGES Member States:
    (1) to give high priority, and to allocate sufficient resources, to strengthening tuberculosis control;
    (2) to aim to increase the percentage of tuberculosis patients enrolled in DOTS programmes so that the regional targets of 60% of notified cases to be treated by DOTS by 2001 and 100% by 2005 are achieved;
    (3) to achieve and maintain a cure rate of at least 85% by ensuring high-quality DOTS implementation, as a minimum;
    (4) to implement surveillance for drug-resistant tuberculosis by 2001;
    (5) to establish regular surveillance and reporting of the impact of HIV on tuberculosis by 2001, if this is appropriate;
  3. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to give tuberculosis control high priority and to make "Stop TB in the Western Pacific Region" a special project of the Western Pacific Regional Office;
    (2) to take all possible steps to raise awareness of the tuberculosis problem based on evidence from epidemiological studies and cost-benefit and socioeconomic analysis and to take all necessary measures to influence leading political figures to translate political commitment into increased financial resources;
    (3) to strengthen technical collaboration with Member States in order to introduce and expand the DOTS strategy in the Region in the context of health sector reform and poverty alleviation;
    (4) to strengthen partnerships with other technical and funding agencies in the Western Pacific Region;
    (5) to report annually in progress in tuberculosis control to the Regional Committee.

17 September 1999

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