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On March 24th – World TB Day – we are reminded of the 9 million people who become infected with tuberculosis (TB) every year, their challenges and their hope for cure. We at Otsuka remember this every day.
It is the driving force behind our commitment to discovering new tools to eliminate TB in our lifetime. As the world’s leading private investor in TB research and development, it has been our goal for the past 40 years to find new, effective solutions to eliminating this disease that claims 1.5 million lives a year.
We know that TB can affect anyone, anywhere in the world. That is why this year, we focus on those who are truly on the front lines of this disease – the healthcare workers, the patients, and their families. Each day this week we will profile stories of those who are making a difference in this fight and the inspiration they provide to others here.
People such as Dasha and Grisha Lavrushiny, a young married couple from Russia, who have both struggled with TB, including the extensively-drug resistant form of it, but in the end have won the battle. Today, they are helping others receive correct diagnosis and treatment.
Li Lulu, a young mother from China, developed TB meningitis, a particularly dangerous type of TB, right after giving birth. The encouragement and support of her family had given her the strength needed to complete treatment and today she is cured.
The support of loved ones and the dedication of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the battle, such as Stuart Pancho, a registered nurse from the Philippines who leads trainings for other healthcare workers. The personal bonds they have established with their patients have proven essential to their treatment success.
Though treatment for TB may be complicated and lengthy, it is a curable disease. Yet an estimated 3 million people a year go undiagnosed or untreated. Much progress remains to be done until every person is correctly diagnosed, treated and cured. We at Otsuka are committed to continuing our efforts so that, ultimately, we can live in a world free from TB.