WHO Calls for Urgent Action Against Multidrug-Resistant TB
September 14, 2007
In South Korea on Wednesday, a senior World Health Organization official called on Asia-Pacific nations to help fight increasing outbreaks of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the region. Shigeru Omi, WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, also said member nations must act immediately to prevent extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB).
"There is an urgent need to scale up the management of [MDR-TB], which has emerged across the region, including the Pacific," Omi said during WHO's annual regional meeting.
Indeed, the region has one-third of global MDR-TB cases, mostly in China and the Philippines, as well as in Mongolia, South Korea, and Vietnam, WHO reports. There were an estimated 1.9 million new TB cases in the Western Pacific in 2005.
"The potential magnitude of the threat of [MDR-TB] in the region requires countries to urgently develop a response and thus prevent the development of [XDR-TB]," said Omi. TB is the main deadly opportunistic infection for people in the region with HIV/AIDS, he noted, calling for infection control strategies to curb the spread of TB among HIV patients.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.