AIGHD welcomes the collective commitment to ramp up the fight against TB, in particular to advance research and development of new tools to diagnose, treat, and prevent TB.

Ministers, leaders of UN organizations, NGOs, civil society, academia and the corporate sector, gathered in Moscow on 16-17 November 2017 at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference to End Tuberculosis (TB).

According to the World Health Organization, “TB is the leading infectious disease killer worldwide today. It carries profound economic and social consequences. The public health crisis of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) continues. Although 49 million lives have been saved through global efforts since 2000, actions and investments have fallen far short of those needed to end the TB epidemic.”

More than 1,000 participants from 114 countries took part in the two-day conference which will also inform the first UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018. The conference ended with the ‘Moscow Declaration to End TB’—a collective commitment to ramp up the fight against TB on four fronts. The third front focuses on the pursuit of science, research and innovation:

3) Pursuing science, research and innovation

We commit to:

• Increasing national and/or regional capacity and funding, as needed, to urgently expand multidisciplinary TB research and innovation, as well as applied health research, by establishing and/or strengthening national TB research networks including civil society and community-based mechanisms, considering TB research as a central element of national TB and R&D strategies, expanding existing networks to integrate TB research, and reducing research- and implementation-related regulatory impediments.
• Working, when relevant, across ministries, donors, the scientific community and the private sector, academia, and other key stakeholders for the purpose of research: (a) for development and evaluation of (i) rapid point of care diagnostics, (ii) new and more effective drugs, and shorter, high-quality and cost-effective treatment regimens for all forms of TB (including latent TB infection and drug-resistant TB), and (iii) safe and effective TB vaccines by 2025; and (b) on environmental and social determinants of TB and effective interventions strategies.
• Improving, as appropriate, the coordination of research efforts nationally and globally, and ensuring that the emerging knowledge is promptly put into action, including by putting in place appropriate policy frameworks and implementing new medical technologies.
• Strengthening, as appropriate, surveillance systems, improving data collection and reporting at all levels, utilising innovative approaches and including surveillance in TB research agendas.

We call upon:

• WHO in collaboration with global partners, research organizations, donors, the scientific community and countries to consider developing a Global Strategy for TB Research taking into consideration ongoing and new efforts, such as the TB Research Network stated in the BRICS Leaders Xiamen Declaration.
• WHO in collaboration with global health and research partners and countries to make further progress in enhancing cooperation and coordination of TB research and development, considering where possible drawing on existing research networks to integrate TB research, such as the new AMR Research and Development Collaboration Hub proposed in the 2017 G20 Leaders’ Declaration, notably to facilitate rapid scale up of innovative approaches and tools for TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.

Read the full ‘Moscow Declaration to End TB’ here.