Britain to help fight TB in India

Published on Jan 27, 2006 07:38 PM IST

Gordon Brown will join Bill Gates in Switzerland to launch the plans, reports Nabanita Sircar.

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None | ByNabanita Sircar, London

Britain will spend £41.7 million to tackle tuberculosis in India, Chancellor Gordon Brown informed Parliament, on the eve of his visit to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum.

Part of a new multibillion-dollar plan to fight the disease, Brown will join Microsoft founder Bill Gates in Switzerland to launch the plans. According to a statement from the plan's coordinators, the campaign needs $5.5 billion to fight TB globally.

Speaking in parliament Brown said, "In advance of the launch tomorrow (Friday) of the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis, which even now kills 2 million people a year, (we are) announcing 41.7 million pounds from Britain for anti-TB drugs for India." Brown told parliament.

One of the world's deadliest diseases TB is responsible for killing one person every 15 seconds. India's 15 million TB patients account for nearly one third of the world's cases, according to campaigners. If it is not controlled an estimated 1 billion people will be infected by 2020 and 36 million people worldwide could die, the finance ministry said.

Under the new global plan spending needs to be tripled in the next 10 years to fight tuberculosis, to increase access to control programmes and accelerate research into ways of tackling the disease. It would amount to spending an estimated $56 billion in the next 10 years, $47 billion of which would go to TB control and the remainder on research.

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