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US Plan Takes Aim at Deadly Strain of Tuberculosis

  • VOA News

FILE - A physician examines an X-ray of the chest of a tuberculosis patient in Jammu, India.

FILE - A physician examines an X-ray of the chest of a tuberculosis patient in Jammu, India.

The Obama administration has unveiled a plan to help combat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the United States and globally.

While about 100 cases of MDR-TB are diagnosed annually in the U.S., the disease affects nearly half a million people around the world every year.

The plan released Tuesday is the first from the White House to address the global threat of MDR-TB, the deadlier strain of tuberculosis.

The National Action Plan is built on three goals: strengthening domestic capacity to combat MDR-TB; improving work with other countries to better address the disease; and accelerating basic and applied research and development.

The White House's proposal to deal with the disease includes a call to "initiate appropriate treatment for 25 percent of patients with MDR-TB in 10 countries with the highest burdens of MDR-TB" by the end of 2016.

The three-to-five-year plan is in line with the World Health Organization's global strategy to end tuberculosis around the world.

More than 9.5 million people became ill with TB last year, according to the WHO, which recently reported that TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people.

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