Policy Brief on Revising the TB Action Plan for the WHO European Region 2016-2020: What amendments are needed to reach the UN SDG3 to eliminate TB epidemics by 2030?
Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) European Region’s political attention shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic from the start of 2020 onwards. A consequence of this shift has been decreased political attention towards combating tuberculosis (TB) in the WHO European Region. As a result, decreasing TB data reporting, rising death rates, and increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) have prevented the WHO European Region from remaining on track to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) to eliminate TB epidemics by 2030. Furthermore, the WHO tuberculosis action plan for the WHO European Region 2016-2020 has missed opportunities to mitigate TB in this region, thus exacerbating the issue and preventing the achievement of SDG3.
Policy Options: The WHO’s Roadmap to implement the tuberculosis action plan for the WHO European Region 2016-2020 provided guidance for TB management in the member states (MS), but did not sufficiently address AMR, lacking promotion of new TB vaccine rollout, nor describe national TB implementation strategies. The WHO 2016-2020 TB action plan is now overdue and WHO policymakers should consider the following recommendations when creating the new TB action plan.
Recommendations: This policy brief addresses the urgent need for a new WHO TB action plan to integrate a national level implementation commitment, AMR programming, and WHO support in creating a vaccine strategy with aims for the WHO European Region to achieve SDG3 and eliminate TB epidemics by 2030.
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