Myanmar Likely To Experience Shortage of TB Drugs in 2010
Myanmar -- also known as Burma -- likely will experience a shortage of tuberculosis drugs next year, The Irrawaddy reports. According to The Irrawaddy, the country has received TB drugs from the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility since 2002. GDF last year said it would stop supplying the drugs after Myanmar received a five-year grant from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that will provide the drugs; however, the Global Fund grant will not begin until 2011, The Irrawaddy reports.
The government has held a meeting with national health agencies to discuss how to obtain funding for the drugs and is expected to hold another meeting in late April. An unidentified official working with a nongovernmental organization in Myanmar said NGOs and health agencies are "now urgently trying to persuade international donors to donate the drugs for next year, but so far we haven't received any funding yet."
According to the country's National TB Program, about 1.5% of Myanmar's population contract TB annually. The country is one of the 22 countries with the highest TB burdens worldwide, according to The Irrawaddy (Sann, The Irrawaddy, 4/10).