International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Ending tuberculosis

This statement is delivered on behalf of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, the World Medical Association and the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, supported by the International Veterinary Students’ Association. We applaud the endorsement by Member States of the Political Declaration on TB at the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting.

However, we would like to stress the importance of finalising and implementing the multisectorial accountability framework to accelerate progress towards national and global targets. We support calls for an independent, high-level review of global progress towards ending TB. We welcome strengthened monitoring and reporting mechanisms for the funding, research and develop of diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

We would like to reiterate the urgent need for Members States and donors to fill the funding gap for new therapeutic options, prevention, surveillance and diagnostics. Additionally, TRIPS flexibilities should be utilized to reduce the cost of MDR-TB treatment regimens and the rollout of point-of-care diagnostics, particularly for rapid diagnosis of MDR and XDR-TB. This should be done on a large scale in countries with the largest disease burden.

As healthcare professionals, we call upon Member States to urgently develop and implement stewardship mechanisms for anti-TB drugs, particularly for the outpatient setting. A multi-sectoral effort towards ending TB should be supported, involving all stakeholders, with a One Health approach.

We strongly urge all stakeholders to prioritize the education of students and healthcare professionals on the diagnosis and management of MDR and XDR-TB and assure access to personal protective equipment for health professionals.

Finally, we stress that ending TB is closely linked to the UHC agenda. Access to care, appropriate diagnostics and the full treatment course without financial hardship is a prerequisite for halting the epidemic.