Aeras Welcomes the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020

The recent release of the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to End TB is more than timely given the 9.6 million people who became ill with TB last year and the 1.5 million who died. Since the first iteration in 2001, the Global Plan has provided a comprehensive, unifying and inclusive roadmap for ending the global TB epidemic. The newly released Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020 puts forward a bold and ambitious strategy to make possible our common goal – a world free of TB. This ambition is essential if we are to end this epidemic that killed more people in 2014 than any other single infectious disease.

The Global Plan 2016-2020 emphasizes that without innovative approaches and that without new tools, including diagnostics, vaccines and drugs regimens, we cannot defeat TB. It is not enough to control the TB epidemic, we must commit to ending TB. To do this, the Plan calls for a dramatic scale-up of investments in research and development (R&D) in addition to TB prevention and care programs, with a focus on human rights, gender, strong political leadership, and community and patients. In addition, the socioeconomic conditions and other factors that contribute to TB must also be addressed.

As a contributor to the TB vaccine section of the Global Plan, we believe the strategy and objectives for TB vaccine R&D are ambitious, but necessary, to accelerate TB vaccine R&D. The strategy and objectives recognize the need for novel thinking and creative approaches to overcome the challenges that hinder progress, and proactively take steps to understand and address barriers and challenges to access alongside product development. Strengthened advocacy efforts, community engagement, and increased funding for all aspects of R&D will be essential to achieve these objectives and the ultimate goal of developing new, more effective vaccines.

Aeras applauds the vision of the Global Plan 2016-2020, and the roadmap it puts forward to reach these critical goals. New approaches, bold targets, and global commitment to this comprehensive strategy will be essential if we are to make this ambition a reality.

To see the plan in full, go to this link.