UNDP and Global Fund grant to fight drug-resistant TB in Bolivia with focus on prison populations

Feb 8, 2017

New York, 8 February - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) announced a new US$11 million grant to fight tuberculosis (TB) in Bolivia. Aiming to strengthen detection, diagnosis and treatment of TB in the South American country, the funds will focus on TB/HIV co-infections, drug resistant TB, and TB in Bolivian prison populations.

Bolivia, with an estimated total population of 10.5 million inhabitants, had the third highest TB rate in the Latin America and Caribbean region in 2014. Despite major advances in reducing TB rates in Bolivia, a significant number of cases go undiagnosed. According to the World Health Organization, there were an estimated 13,000 new cases of TB in 2015 yet only 7,893 were diagnosed or notified. The grant will help the government of Bolivia strengthen TB surveillance systems, introduce rapid diagnosis technology, and improve capacity to diagnose, test and successfully treat drug-resistant TB.

“Addressing the challenge of undetected TB cases is vital to reducing transmission and ensuring access to treatment. This grant will help strengthen existing surveillance systems to reach out to and identify those in need, wherever they may be, and ensure they have access to quality TB care” said Mauricio Ramírez, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bolivia.

The grant will have a particular focus on persons in the country’s 22 prisons and local jails. Over-crowding offers a fertile ground for the spread of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis: the rate of increase of TB cases among the prison population is more than 11 times higher than in the rest of the Bolivian population.

“Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in our region means reaching out to the most disadvantaged groups, without leaving anyone behind. With the support of our partners, we can allocate resources to support the detection and treatment of the disease for people and communities at high risk”, said UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jessica Faieta.

The grant will run until 2019 and will be implemented by UNDP in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and national civil society partners, with a focus on strengthening national capacity and systems. It will contribute to the national goal of universal access to health services and the global goal of eliminating the TB epidemic by 2030– one of the targets of the Agenda 2030 and specifically, Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and well-being.

TB has now surpassed HIV as the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing three people every minute. As of mid-2016, Global Fund grants managed by UNDP have provided TB treatment to 860,000 people.

Contact information

In New York: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist | UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support | Email: sangita.khadka@undp.org | Tel: +1 212 906 5043

In La Paz: Richard Flores, Coordinator, Global Fund Programme | UNDP Bolivia | Email: richard.flores@undp.org | Tel: +591 2 2624320

In Geneva: Sarah Bel, Communication Specialist | Email: sarah.bel@undp.org | Tel: +41229178544

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