experts Tuesday accused the World Bank of neglecting
Africa's fight against tuberculosis, saying the institution
should spend more fighting a disease whose resurgence
in recent years has been linked to AIDS.
"The World Bank
is spending virtually nothing on Africa's TB
emergency," said Joanne Carter of Results International, a
U.S. antipoverty advocacy organization.
A report released
Tuesday by Results International charged that the
bank's support of health projects in Africa unfairly favor
HIV/AIDS and malaria, leaving few resources for TB.
"We urge the
World Bank to reevaluate its priorities," said Carter.
Africa is the only continent where TB rates are increasing.
The World Bank
also welcomed the report's call for increased funds in
A global plan to
halve TB incidence by 2015 was launched earlier this
year in Davos, Switzerland, by the Stop TB Partnership,
a coalition of more than 400 organizations worldwide.
The plan identified a $31 billion funding gap, of
which approximately $10 billion is needed for Africa
The problem of
drug-resistant TB is also emerging in Africa, with the
recent identification of an extremely resistant strain in
South Africa. The strain was virtually untreatable,
killing 52 of 53 people infected in the last year.
Experts say that due to poor surveillance, it is unknown
how many people may actually be infected with this deadly
strain. (Maria Cheng, AP)