Tuberculosis (TB)

TB recommendations included in "Commission for Africa" report

TB references included in the report

  • The elimination of preventable diseases in Africa depends above all on rebuilding systems to deliver public health services in order to tackle diseases such as TB and malaria effectively. This will involve major investment in staff, training, the development of new medicines, better sexual and reproductive health services and the removal of fees paid by patients, until countries can afford it.
  • The World Health Organization’s ‘Two diseases, one patient’ strategy should be supported to provide integrated TB and HIV care.
  • During the economic crises and structural adjustment years of the 1970s and 1980s, investment in health and education suffered in much of Africa. Slow growth or economic decline undermined the public finances, while populations grew very rapidly. The cost of debt servicing brought cuts to the budgets of both clinics and schools. Many health and education systems began to break down. The scythe with which HIV and AIDS cut through the population added drastically to the burden on health services in particular, which were already struggling with TB, malaria, gastrointestinal diseases, and the other diseases of poverty.
  • Investment is urgently required to repair and develop health systems, and African leaders have set out their priorities in a strategy under AU/NEPAD. With a concerted effort to strengthen health systems and with the right resources, many diseases could be effectively eliminated in ten years and the rise of TB and HIV infections stabilised. But all this requires strengthening health care delivery through ensuring adequate financing behind African-led strategies in a predictable stream, addressing the human resource crisis, developing information and management systems, and having a predictable and affordable supply of medicines and other physical infrastructure. It also requires bringing coherence to the ways donors and global health partnerships (the international coalitions to tackle a single disease or group of diseases) support health care in countries, integrating initiatives, working in partnership with African governments and investing in prevention. This means harmonising behind national strategies, for example through common funding and monitoring arrangements.

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