360,000 TB cases reported in Europe in 2013
The recently published data shows a drop of 6 percent from 2012.
There has been a steady decline of tuberculosis in Europe in the past 10 years, but multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB levels are still high. The 18 high-priority countries make up 85 percent of all new TB cases in Europe, and health professionals in these regions report that there were 38,000 deaths from TB in 2013.
"MDR-TB is still ravaging the European Region, making it the most affected area of the entire world," WHO's European Regional Director Zsuzsanna Jakab said. "Only 50 percent of MDR-TB patients are found and half of them successfully cured. This calls for a considerable scaling up of access to safe, rational and efficient new TB drugs, as well as innovations on rapid diagnosis and care centered on the needs of patients."
Jakab credited the new global End TB Strategy and the European consolidated action plan for making advances toward these goals.
"We work with our countries to improve the quality of and equitable access to their services in line with Health 2020, the European health policy framework," she said. "This has resulted in improving the capacity of European countries to detect and treat patients with drug-resistant forms of TB."