BMS Foundation Announces Collaboration with WHO Stop TB Department
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation yesterday announced a partnership with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Stop TB Department for a two-year pilot initiative to strengthen community based prevention, care and control of tuberculosis (TB) including co-infection with HIV in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo. These countries represented more than 13% of global TB and more than one-third of TB/HIV co-infection in 2009.
The initiative is expected to be a catalyst in boosting the meaningful engagement of non-governmental and community organizations, a key objective in the WHO’s Stop TB strategy, and will draw on technical assistance through community care experts from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s SECURE THE FUTURE program.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent charitable organisation whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes around the world for patients disproportionately affected by serious disease.
Lamberto Andreotti, CEO of BMS, commented that “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s commitment to help communities prevail over serious diseases is embodied in our Foundation’s mission to address health disparities and empower communities.” “Our work in TB and HIV co-infection has demonstrated the positive impact that community support can have on tracking, follow-up of results and treatment for infected individuals” he added.
The World Health Organization will use their facilitation and brokering role with National TB and AIDS Control Programs to scale up community TB care in the five countries through strengthened engagement of non-governmental (NGOs) and community based organisations. WHO will promote the development of policies and programs that will enable greater involvement of NGOs and civil society organizations in TB community care and the creation of a more cost-effective and sustainable TB response.
This initiative offers a unique opportunity in partnership with SECURE THE FUTURE to enhance the earlier detection of people with TB to ensure they are treated successfully, and have better access to services, especially in HIV prevalent settings. TB services will be strengthened and improved by embracing the advantages that non-governmental organisations can bring, such as access to remote areas and a better understanding of local needs, especially among vulnerable groups.