Tuberculosis Prevention and Control

         The Regional Committee,

         Concerned that tuberculosis continues to be an important public health problem in Member States with high or intermediate prevalence rates of tuberculosis;

         Recognizing that tuberculosis particularly affects the poorest and most vulnerable;

         Acknowledging that the WHO-recommended DOTS strategy is a very cost-effective health intervention that achieves high treatment success rates;

         Expressing concern that the current detection rate of 47% of estimated new smear-positive cases in the Region is still far below the regional target of 70%;

         Expressing further concern at the increasing impact of drug resistance on tuberculosis control in some countries of the Region;

         Noting that TB/HIV co-infection is spreading in the absence of coordinated approaches to address the problem;

         Noting with concern that there is still a considerable gap in financing tuberculosis control, including financing for antituberculosis drugs;

         Welcoming, in response to resolution WPR/RC51.R4, the development of five year (2001-2005) Stop TB national plans in the seven countries in the Region with a high burden of tuberculosis;

         Also welcoming the strengthening of the technical capacity of WHO's Stop TB special project in the Western Pacific;

  1. URGES Member States:
    (1) to accelerate the implementation of DOTS in order to achieve the regional objective of reducing prevalence and mortality of tuberculosis by half by 2010 from 2000 levels;
    (2) to further increase the financial and human resources devoted to implementing the five year (2001-2005) Stop TB national plans and to securing supplies of antituberculosis drugs;
    (3) to establish effective coordination mechanisms between HIV and tuberculosis programmes in order to address tuberculosis and HIV co-infection;
    (4) to strengthen surveillance systems, ensuring monitoring of drug resistance and tuberculosis prevalence and mortality;
    (5) to further strengthen partnerships at the country level through national Inter-agency Coordinating Committees;
  2. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to continue to work with other international organizations to advocate at the highest political level for increased political and financial commitment to tuberculosis control and to enhance international cooperation;
    (2) to further strengthen technical support to countries in the Region with both high and intermediate prevalence rates of tuberculosis;
    (3) to strengthen partnerships in order to increase funding for tuberculosis control in the Region, in collaboration with global Stop TB partners;
    (4) to coordinate efforts to strengthen surveillance to ensure monitoring of drug resistance and tuberculosis prevalence and mortality;
    (5) to develop a regional strategy to address tuberculosis/HIV co-infection;
    (6) to further support Member States to develop tools to measure tuberculosis mortality and to conduct prevalence surveys in countries in the Region with a high burden of tuberculosis.

14 September 2001

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