National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

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Two women in the Philippines take preventative measures against MDR-TB.
USAID Trains Aeta Community Volunteers in TB Prevention. Jennifer belongs to the Aeta community - thought to be among the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines - in the mountains of Porac and Floridablanca, Pampanga. With limited access to health services, the 10,000 Aetas who live here are vulnerable to contracting TB. USAID trained Jennifer and other health volunteers to teach their community about TB and to serve as treatment partners for people with the disease.
Photo credit: Kdador/PBSP. Courtesy USAID Philippines

Tuberculosis (TB) remains the leading infectious disease disease killer in low- and middle-income countries. Each year, an estimated ten million people fall ill with TB, and 1.4 million die. This deadly disease is transmitted through the air from person to person and it occurs in the United States and around the world. TB is curable, but inappropriate treatment can lead to drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is resistant to two of the most-effective TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin. While extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), shows additional resistance to any fluoroquinolone and at least one of the injectables used to treat second-line drug-resistance.

MDR-TB and XDR-TB are both increasing global health security threats. An outbreak of DR-TB would have serious consequences for individuals, because of the long, difficult and toxic regimen required. Health systems and economies will also suffer, because of the very high cost of treatment, as well as the burden DR-TB places on providers, institutions and health systems.

The U.S. Government addresses this growing crisis domestically and internationally and advances research on this critical public health issue through the National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (National Action Plan). This 5-year plan, released in 2015, builds on and contributes to the success of the U.S. Government's domestic and global TB strategies, as well as the World Health Organization's END TB Strategy.

The goals of the National Action Plan are to accomplish the following:

  1. Strengthen domestic capacity to combat MDR-TB
  2. Improve international capacity and collaboration to combat MDR-TB
  3. Accelerate basic and applied research and development to combat MDR-TB


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Last updated: May 17, 2022

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