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Progress in diagnosing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

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"Reach the 3 Million" - This was the theme of World TB Day on 24th March. 3 million is the number of people falling ill each year with TB who do not receive the care they need - a third of the total 9 million who catch the disease. 

Almost half of those who fell ill with TB in 2012 had Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB). This is mainly due to lack of access to quality diagnostic services. 

A project called EXPAND-TB (Expanding Access to New Diagnostics for TB) has helped to triple the number of MDR-TB cases diagnosed in participating countries. This improves the chances of people getting the right treatment and being cured, and helps stop spread of drug-resistant disease.

The project has enabled more patients to be treated with quality-assured second-line TB medicines. Through that demand, the project has helped to reduce the price of individual medicines and MDR-TB treatment regimens by one third. Prices have also dropped for diagnostic commodities.


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