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Global Health

India, U.S. form alliance to end tuberculosis

by K.V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN
October 20, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 42

 

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Credit: Atul Loke/TB Alliance
More than a quarter of the world's tuberculosis cases, which primarily affect the lungs, occur in India.

India and the U.S. are joining hands in an effort to combat tuberculosis (TB). India accounts for 27% of the world’s TB cases, with 421,000 deaths per year—nearly one death every minute. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to spend $30 million on the effort, pending congressional approval, agency administrator Mark Green said when the USAID-India End TB Alliance was announced last month in New York. The alliance plans to employ a business model to identify, incubate, and scale TB interventions, particularly those that would improve care for the most vulnerable populations, a spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi says. Examples of interventions the alliance is looking for include developing new financing models for programs; unlocking private capital, including corporate social responsibility funds; encouraging entrepreneurial approaches; and strengthening use of technological solutions such as artificial intelligence to enhance the effectiveness of TB interventions, the spokesperson says. The alliance includes representatives from India’s corporate and financial sectors and government, as well as medical practitioners and TB survivors. No pharmaceutical company is directly involved, the embassy spokesperson says. India has pledged to eradicate TB by 2025.

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