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Tuberculosis: Overseas Aid

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department’s priorities are in respect of programmes for the global control of tuberculosis in the next 12 months. (268069)

The Department for International Development’s (DFID) main focus remains the delivery of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-15, which aims to save 14 million lives. We do this with substantial support through country programmes, multilateral organisations, global partnerships, research, and through using our political voice in the G8 and other fora.

Key priorities for TB control at present include addressing the challenges of HIV-TB co-infection and the increasing problem of drug resistance. We will continue to focus on both HIV and TB, and on strengthening the underlying health systems in order to improve the way health services diagnose and treat illnesses, including TB and TB-HIV. We will also continue to support research into new TB treatments. DFID recently made a new £18 million funding package to the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. This is part of the £220 million committed for product development research for diseases including HIV, TB and malaria.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to ensure that international development and control of the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis are discussed at the 2009 G8 conference in Italy. (268070)

Italy holds the presidency of the G8 this year and they have agreed that development and Africa will be a key element of the G8 Leaders Summit in Italy in July. As with previous summits, the UK Government will continue to work through all available channels in the lead up to the summit to ensure that tackling global health challenges remains a high priority for the leaders’ agenda. The UK is strongly committed to reducing death and suffering from drug-resistant tuberculosis, and will encourage other G8 partners to ensure that tuberculosis is addressed as part of the comprehensive package of G8 measures. This should enable developing countries to make faster progress towards the millennium development goal targets.