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Friday, 04 February 2011

MEPs urge EU to fight tuberculosis worldwide

The fight against tuberculosis should be included in the flagship Europe 2020 Strategy, says Parliament in a resolution adopted on Thursday. And European research should be made to count in developing countries, where the disease is most deadly, demand MEPs. The resolution, adopted by 578 votes to 9 with 52 abstentions,  highlights the role the EU can play in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal to "halt and begin to reverse the trend" of tuberculosis by 2015. While progress has been made, the disease still causes almost 2 million deaths a year, with mortality especially high in developing countries and among sufferers of HIV/AIDS. MEPs highlight the central role that can be played by Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), an EU-supported but independently run European organisation that develops new vaccines, with the aim of making them globally accessible and affordable. The TBVI's work should be included in the practical operation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, according to the resolution. Wider pharmaceutical research efforts are also needed to tackle neglected diseases, which are generally those affecting developing countries, it adds.

Source: European Parliament