Europe & ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) together against tuberculosis

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How can the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP countries) and Europe team up to strengthen each other in the fight against tuberculosis? On the occasion of World TB Day 2012, The TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) organised a symposium in which high level speakers from both continents discussed this issue.  The meeting was hosted in the European Parliament by Member of Parliament Mr Charles Goerens.

With nearly 9 million new cases and almost 1.5 million deaths per year, tuberculosis (TB) is the second deadliest infectious disease in the world. Drug resistance forms a serious and increasing threat, recent statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that the number of resistant cases is on the rise. Children are double hit; not only is the disease more difficult to diagnose and treat in children, some ten million children have been orphaned due to TB and many more have had to quit school to care for relatives or provide a living for their families.

New tools to control tuberculosis are urgently needed, no group of countries knows that better than the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), where TB devastates the lives of millions of people every year. With better diagnostics, drugs and vaccines, TB can be controlled and eventually eliminated.

“Only a large scale vaccination programme will help achieve elimination of TB in 2050,” said MEP Mr Louis Michel, adding it is Europe’s duty to encourage the struggle against tuberculosis on a European level by supporting organisations such as TBVI.

A joint approach to TB vaccine development can identify research priorities, maximise limited available resources and provide guidance to scientists, regulators, advocates, donors, investors and decision makers. Dr Jelle Thole, director of TBVI therefore took the opportunity to present a strategic plan that was published this week by the global TB vaccine research community. Dr Thole: “We have a rich portfolio of promising vaccine candidates, but we have to manage it and fill the gaps. The Blueprint gives us direction to do so. ”

Download the presentation: Tuberculosis Vaccines: A strategic blueprint for the next decade

Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative

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