The public-private partnership, a continuation of a successful HIV/AIDS collaboration between the ministry and the Gates Foundation, will work to improve the quality of TB control in China by using innovative tools and delivery methods to address the estimated 1.5 million cases of the disease that occur in the country each year. Grant funds will be used to introduce new diagnostic tests, drug regimens, patient monitoring strategies, and health delivery approaches that could significantly improve the effectiveness of TB diagnosis and treatment across the country.
During the first stage of the initiative, the ministry of health will focus on pilot-testing tools and delivery approaches to determine their effectiveness and feasibility. The second stage will focus on evaluating and expanding those approaches, with a goal of diagnosing and treating fifty thousand TB patients a year in�six Chinese provinces. Eventually, it is hoped the effort will result in a national scale-up of TB innovations across China.
"This partnership with China comes at a critical time in the world's response to tuberculosis," said Bill Gates. "The rise of drug-resistant TB worldwide has created a new urgency to combat the disease, while scientific innovation is leading to new technologies that will help us succeed.�China is taking the threat of TB very seriously, and we're excited to support its efforts."