London, Jan 26: Britain today announced that it would contribute 41.7 million pounds to tackle Tuberculosis in India as part of a new multibillion dollar fund to fight the disease.
The announcement was made in the House of Commons by chancellor Gordon Brown on the eve of his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he will join Microsoft founder Bill Gates to launch the fund under which 5.5 billion dollars a year will be spent on fighting TB globally.
"In advance of the launch tomorrow of the global plan to stop tuberculosis, which even now kills 2 million people a year, we are announcing 41.7 million pounds from Britain for anti-TB drugs for India," Brown told the Commons.
Campaigners have described TB as one of the world’s deadliest diseases, responsible for killing one person every 15 seconds. s account for nearly one third of the world’s cases.
"If controls are not strengthened, about 1 billion people will be infected by 2020 and 36 million people worldwide could die," an official source said.
The global plan is expected to call for a tripling of spending to fight Tuberculosis in the next decade to increase access to control programmes and accelerate research into ways of tackling the disease. This would mean spending about 56 billion dollars in the next decade, 47 billion dollars of which would go to TB control and the rest on research.