Tuberculosis and Health Inequalities

Date

24 Mar 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers

Press release

As the second most cause of death from an infectious agent, Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious public health problem. New challenges are also posed by multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB), which are virtually untreatable.

Disparities in TB incidence between Western and Eastern Europe, developed and developing countries persist. Of the 100.000 reported TB cases in the European Union in 2005, 35% came from Bulgaria and Romania.

In addition to inequalities between Member States, they also exist between social groups. At a particular high risk are those groups in the population with a weakened immune system caused, inter alia, by malnutrition, certain viral infections, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

Therefore, it would be of tremendous value, both clinically and economically, to guarantee access to rapid, modern tests for TB infection detection, diagnosis, and drug susceptibility, including NAT and IGRA tests across the EU, and especially focusing on high risk groups. In fact, not only earlier detection leads to improved patient care, but rapid diagnosis results in overall savings. One key step is the detection and treatment of latent TB in order to stop the transmission cycle.

In order to make a concrete impact, EDMA cooperates with the “Stop TB Partnership”, a worldwide network of more than 500 international organizations, donors and institutions that work together to fight TB, and is committed to bring its best support to reach the objectives fixed by the partnership.

About EDMA

EDMA, the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association represents National Associations and major companies engaged in the research, development, manufacture or distribution of In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) medical devices in Europe. Through its affiliated National Associations, EDMA represents in total more than 500 companies (or over 700 legal entities) across Europe. The mission of EDMA is to raise awareness of the importance, usefulness and added-value that diagnostic information can provide to healthcare. For this purpose, EDMA cooperates with European institutions, patients groups, trade associations, health professionals and academia to support an appropriate regulatory system, to work towards a realistic economic environment for healthcare in Europe and to be an effective voice in globalisation.

For more information, please visit EDMA website or contact:
Miriam Gargesi, EDMA Communications Manager (Tel. +32 2 777 02 79)