Châteauguay, May 31, 2017 – Building on her earlier international development missions to Indonesia and Vietnam, MP Brenda Shanahan recently represented Canada at the Berlin TB Summit in Germany together with a group of parliamentarians from G20 countries such as France, Italy, India, South Africa and Brazil.
The delegates met to contribute to the global campaign to include tuberculosis (TB) on the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) agenda at the G20 Summit in Berlin this summer. “As Co-Chair of the Global Health Caucus, I was pleased to join the delegation to demonstrate that Canada wishes to remain a key player in the fight against TB,” says Brenda Shanahan.
During a series of technical briefings, the delegates learned that TB kills more people than any other single infectious disease. In 2015 TB claimed over 1.8 million lives, including Canadians. More alarming is the rapid rate at which TB is becoming resistant to the drugs we currently have for treatment. No new drugs have entered the front-line regime in almost 50 years. If the status quo continues, TB could kill 75 million people and cost the global economy a cumulative $16.7 trillion over the next 35 years.
They also learned that in developing countries TB remains the third leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. The World Health Organization also estimated that one third of the people who develop TB each year go undiagnosed.
“There is therefore an urgent need for more accurate diagnostics to detect drug-resistant TB and offer appropriate treatment,” explains the MP.
Upon her return to Canada, Brenda Shanahan advised the Ministers of International Development and Health that the Global TB Caucus is calling for G20 leaders to recognize TB as a priority pathogen within the AMR agenda, and to devote all necessary efforts to tackling the disease across the world. “I will continue to work on this urgent priority for Global Health,” she concludes.
Photo: Brenda Shanahan in the company of some delegates of the G20 countries in front of the Bundestag, the National Parliament of Germany.