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Minister Cannon T.D. remarks at a meeting on the fight against Tuberculosis

Global health and HIV have been central to Ireland’s international development cooperation for some time and we are proud of the contribution made by Ireland in this domain over the years, which has helped strengthen health systems in many countries.

With more than 10 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths each year, TB is the deadliest infectious disease in the world.

TB faces market failures, and the pharmaceutical industry has largely withdrawn from TB product development. The key to achieving the End TB Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goal of ending TB by 2030 therefore lies in not-for-profit product development partnerships (PDPs), such as the TB Alliance. It also depends on continued investment in effective public health systems.

With support for research and product development from member states, new cures could treat all forms of TB in the same way, substantially shortening treatment durations while reducing the death toll of the disease. We can defeat TB and overcome TB drug resistance.

High income countries cannot close the R&D funding gap alone; emerging economies and others must also invest their fair share in research and development to finance tomorrow’s cures.

TB Alliance expects the High Level Meeting to stimulate strong public-private partnerships that will preserve and strengthen research and development capacity and ensure that new tools are adopted, available and affordable worldwide.

Patchwork, national-level solutions are slowing down the fight to eradicate TB. More collaboration in evaluating and approving new tools would lead to the affordable and efficient implementation and uptake of new tools.

Member states that intend to address TB solely at a national level are fighting an impossible fight but working together we can and will succeed.

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