Canada commits C$127.4 million to fighting tuberculosis

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

World map showing reported cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 citizens. Red = >300, orange = 200-300; yellow = 100-200; green 50-100; blue = <50 and grey = n/a.
Image: Sbw01f.

On Tuesday, World Tuberculosis Day, the Government of Canada committed C$127.4 million to the fight against tuberculosis (TB) worldwide.

The Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley J. Oda, said "Our government has a comprehensive, long-term approach in the global fight against tuberculosis and Canadians can be proud that our country continues to be an international leader. We have achieved significant results, as Canada has already contributed to the successful treatment of more than four million tuberculosis sufferers and saved over half a million lives."

Three programs will be funded via the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Reach Facility Accelerated Case Detection Program will receive $100 million, The Capacity Building for Tuberculosis Control Program will gain $20 million and the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Control Program will receive $7.4 million.

It is reported that the CIDA minister will increase aid to Africa twofold where TB is killing those suffering from AIDS, more than any other illness. TB also kills more women worldwide than any other disease. In 2006, over 9,000,000 people worldwide were infected with TB.

"Every 20 seconds someone dies from TB, TB is a devastating airborne and opportunistic disease that preys on the poor and takes 1.7 million lives every year. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that TB can be cured and treated for as little as $20." Chris Dendys, RESULTS Canada Executive Director said. RESULTS is an advocacy group which works to increase the public and political will to put a stop to hunger and poverty.

"Today's announcement from CIDA, which comes on World TB Day, is an important step in positioning Canada as a global leader in TB control," said Dendys. "These new investments will ensure that more people are diagnosed, treated and cured."