PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced a collaboration with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Stop TB Department for a two-year pilot initiative to strengthen community based prevention, care and control of tuberculosis (TB) including co-infection with HIV in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo. These five countries collectively represented more than 13 percent of global TB and more than one-third of the TB/HIV co-infection burden in 2009.
The initiative is expected to be a catalyst in boosting the meaningful engagement of non-governmental and community organizations, a key objective in the WHO’s Stop TB strategy, and will draw on technical assistance through community care experts from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s SECURE THE FUTURE® program.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb’s commitment to help communities prevail over serious diseases is embodied in our Foundation’s mission to address health disparities and empower communities,” said Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The hallmark of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s SECURE THE FUTURE® program is strengthening capacity in local communities. Our work in TB and HIV co-infection has demonstrated the positive impact that community support can have on tracking, follow-up of results and treatment for infected individuals.”
The WHO will use its facilitation and brokering role with National TB and AIDS Control Programs to scale up community TB care in the five countries through strengthened engagement of non-governmental (NGOs) and community based organizations. WHO will promote the development of policies and programs that will enable greater involvement of NGOs and civil society organizations in TB community care and the creation of a more cost-effective and sustainable TB response.
This initiative offers a unique opportunity in partnership with SECURE THE FUTURE® to enhance the earlier detection of people with TB to ensure they are treated successfully, and have better access to TB services, especially in HIV prevalent settings. TB services will be strengthened and improved by embracing the advantages that NGOs can bring, such as access to remote areas and a better understanding of local needs, especially among vulnerable groups.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes around the world for patients disproportionately affected by serious disease.
SECURE THE FUTURE® is the flag ship initiative of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Since 1999, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation have committed $160 million to develop sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations, including women and children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Since its inception, the initiative has provided support for more than 240 projects focused on community education, outreach, medical care and research in 19 countries.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.com, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.
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