Img 3201Source: Michael Nwangi, 2023

the drugs aren’t working

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, and it’s becoming more resistant to our best treatments. This year, the United Nations is holding a ‘’High-Level Meeting’ (HLM) on the problem of ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR), which is an important opportunity to address the growing challenge of drug-resistant TB.

TB is becoming increasingly drug-resistant and hard to treat

The UK Government must address the growing threat of drug-resistant TB

Ask your MP to urge the Government to act at the UN HLM on antimicrobial resistance

what’s happening?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a deadly infectious disease caused by bacteria that affect the lungs, but it can occur in any part of the body. Some forms of TB are resistant to the drugs designed to treat them: this is known as drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), a form of ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR). This year, the UN will hold a HLM on AMR – a vital moment to address the role of DR-TB in the global AMR threat.

AMR hinders the development of effective health systems and slows progress towards achieving universal health coverage. Research and development for novel vaccines and medicines is essential to tackling AMR. A new TB vaccine would be one of the best tools for stopping the spread of DR-TB and reducing AMR, so funding for TB research and development is critical.

how you can make a difference

Governments must address the AMR crisis, and to make this happen, political pressure is needed. World TB Day (24 March) is an opportunity to raise concerns about the impact of drug-resistant TB on the global AMR crisis.

  • Please write to your MP to inform them about DR-TB and its part in the growing threat of AMR. Ask your MP to write to the Development Minister, Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP, asking the Government to take action at the UN HLM this September.
  • Invite your MP to attend a World TB Day event in Parliament on 20 March, where they can learn more. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Global TB will be holding a World TB Day reception between 10 am and 12 pm in Parliament, to hear about efforts to eradicate TB around the world. But you can also attend yourself! If you would like to come to the reception, please contact the grassroots team and Vinny Wooding ([email protected]) in advance.

AMRAntimicrobial resistance

DR-TB Drug-resistant Tuberculosis

HLM – High Level Meeting. The UN calls these special meetings to increase awareness and action on specific global challenges such as public health threats.


UNUnited Nations

WHOWorld Health Organization

“I am Eloisa ‘Louie’ Zepeda Teng. I am 41 years old, a wife and a mother to two children. In 2006, while working as an architect I contracted TB. I initially had six months of drug-sensitive treatment. The medication I was taking had extremely toxic side effects. During the third week of treatment, I lost my vision. It was during this time that the doctors confirmed I had drug-resistant TB and required different treatment. I was then started on drug-resistant treatment which lasted two years. There was a distinct lack of knowledge of drug-resistant strains of TB within the medical community during this time, partly due to a lack of diagnostic tools. This was a difficult time for me and my family.“

Read more about Louie’s experience in this article in The Telegraph.

Screenshot 2024 02 21 At 15.58.30
Image credit: Douglas Trapp of the University Research Co.
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