WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and co-chair of the House TB Elimination Caucus, today made the following statement applauding the Stop TB Partnership’s launch of the new Global Plan to End TB 2016 -2020: The Paradigm Shift.
“The fight to end tuberculosis has long been one of my top priorities. When I was first elected to Congress, the global TB death rate was almost 50 percent higher than it is today. Thanks to better diagnoses and successful therapies, 43 million lives have been saved between 2000 and 2014 alone, and the treatment success rate for those newly diagnosed with TB was 86 percent in 2013. But the struggle to defeat TB is not yet won. In 2014, nearly 10 million people worldwide became infected with TB and one and a half million people lost their lives to this disease. We're making progress. But we need to do more and we need to do better.
"That's why I welcome the Stop TB Partnership's new plan. Reaching the plan's goals will save millions of lives and reenergize this fight: diagnose and treat 90 percent of people infected with TB, ensure that 90 percent of countries’ most vulnerable populations are diagnosed and in treatment, and guarantee that 90 percent of those diagnosed complete treatment. We need bigger goals, bigger investments, and bigger commitments. This plan is an invaluable step, not just toward meeting the challenge of TB head-on, but toward finally wiping out the world’s biggest infectious killer.”
The Stop TB Partnership is a collection of 1,300 diverse partners, including government programs, research organizations, NGOs, and private sector grouped aimed at advancing efforts to treat TB and engage stakeholders worldwide in those efforts.
Representative Engel, along with Representative Gene Green and Representative Don Young, is a co-chair of the House TB Elimination Caucus, which now has more than 40 members. The Caucus has sponsored briefings and sent letters to key stakeholders about the urgent need for tuberculosis treatment and control. Rep. Engel authored the Stop TB Now Act of 2007, significant portions of which were signed into law in 2008. That law prioritized the Stop TB Partnership’s strategy and further promoted the research and development of new tools to combat the disease.