Management Sciences for Health Supports Newly Introduced Legislation to End Tuberculosis Worldwide

January 04, 2022

Management Sciences for Health Supports Newly Introduced Legislation to End Tuberculosis Worldwide

Arlington, VA—January 4, 2022—Management Sciences for Health (MSH) supports the newly introduced End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2021, which is a piece of comprehensive legislation to bolster US efforts to combat the global TB pandemic. It was introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.).

“COVID-19 has caused a worrisome reversal of progress in the fight against tuberculosis, so we welcome legislation to support interagency coordination, the creation of more streamlined TB programs, more funding, and better detection and treatment for this age-old infectious disease killer,” said Dr. Ersin Topcuoglu, director of the MSH-led USAID Health Systems for Tuberculosis (HS4TB) program. “We thank Chairman Menendez and Senator Young for their leadership and urge Congress to pass this legislation to end TB once and for all.”

The bipartisan legislation addresses the major impact COVID-19 has had on global TB control efforts; it directs the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to boost its bilateral TB programs and activities to account for new goals established by the international community. In 2018, the United Nations High-Level Meeting set a new target of successfully treating 40 million people with TB by 2022, including 3.5 million children. TB is now ranked as the second worst infectious killer in the world after COVID-19, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating 1.9 million TB deaths in 2020 alone, underscoring the need to take urgent action.

The bill calls for greater coordination among US government agencies that engage in international TB activities to ensure accountability and transparency, reduce duplication of efforts, and ensure appropriate integration and coordination of TB services into other US government-supported health programs. The bill also prioritizes research and development of new tools to prevent, diagnose, treat, and control TB worldwide by building and strengthening TB programs to diagnose and treat all people with TB with a focus on individuals co-infected with HIV and other comorbidities and other individuals with TB who may be at risk of stigma.

Finally, the bill will increase assistance for WHO and the Stop TB Partnership to improve the capacity of affected countries to implement the End TB Strategy, the Stop TB Global Plan to End TB, their own national strategies and plans, and other global efforts to control multidrug-resistant and extensively multidrug-resistant TB.

MSH has managed large, complex TB elimination projects for more than 20 years, working with public- and private-sector local partners to develop quality and sustainable solutions at all levels of the health system that meet the needs of communities affected by TB while bolstering local leadership, management, and transparent governance.

MSH is working via a USAID-funded health systems strengthening program that helps low- and middle-income countries increase domestic funding and use resources efficiently to finance TB care and prevention while building in-country technical and managerial competence and leadership. More information about MSH’s TB work can be found here.

The full text of the legislation is available here.