XDR-TB UPDATE 2006
Message from the WHO Director of Stop TB, Dr Mario Raviglione
25 September 2006 | GENEVA -- Earlier this month, WHO issued an alert about the threat of XDR-TB and called for the strengthening of TB control worldwide as a strategic and necessary response. Two days later, this was echoed by representatives attending a consultation in Johannesburg outlining the issues around XDR-TB in Southern Africa.
In the days since that meeting concluded with a series of action areas, WHO Stop TB Department staff have been working to set in place all the necessary procedures for establishing a robust technical response to XDR-TB globally. This has also involved high level briefings with key Member States and partners to ensure that they are fully engaged and committed to implementing XDR-TB prevention measures now and in the future.
In two weeks, as part of its strategic response , WHO will also host a Global Task Force on XDR-TB (October 9-10, 2006). The WHO Task Force will bring together in Geneva leading experts on XDR-TB to address and move forward on the technical issues that remain around XDR-TB. Preparations are well underway, and despite the short time frame, we have been able to move quickly, thanks to support and commitment from all those involved in the organization of this important meeting.
Over the next few weeks and months, WHO Stop TB will also be updating its website on a regular basis with the latest relevant information on XDR-TB. Clearly, reported cases of XDR-TB are already prompting an enormous amount of media coverage. WHO aims to ensure that our guidance on XDR-TB prevention, control and treatment is based on the highest quality expertise and strategic consultation.
Dr Mario Raviglione
Director, Stop TB Department
World Health Organization