The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership on 21 July, 2007 launched a US$ 2.15 billion two-year programme to save over 100,000 lives.
The new initiative of the WHO takes bold steps to prevent, treat and control drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The new programme will take measures to allow laboratories in countries with high-levels of the disease to increase their detection of MDR-TB cases. The plan, called the Global MDR-TB and XDR-TB Response Plan 2007-2008, also jumpstarts efforts towards reaching a 2015 goal of providing access to drugs and testing to all patients affected by these two disease types, potentially rescuing the lives of 1.2 million people. A key element of the scheme is a steady supply of quality drugs to treat tuberculosis in underserved countries from the Global Drug Facility, which, since its establishment in 2006, distributes more anti-tuberculosis drugs free of charge to poor countries than any other group. XDR-TB is a threat to the security and stability of global health.