CDC and Other USG Agencies Release Six-Month Progress Report on the National Plan to Combat Multidrug-Resistant TB

CDC is a Key Architect and Implementer of the National Action Plan Launched in 2015

This month, CDC and U.S. government agencies launched a six-month progress reportCdc-pdf on the White House’s National Action Plan for Combatting Multidrug-Resistant TB. This report underscores activities taken by the CDC and supporting partners in support of the National Action Plan (NAP) during its first six months.The three main goals of the NAP consist of upgrading TB surveillance, strengthening state and local transmission prevention programs, and that ensuring patients with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) receive treatment until they are cured. With nearly 500,000 MDR TB cases globally in 2015, this report reiterates the urgent need to improve quality of treatment and expedite diagnostics.

MDR TB is resistant to at least two of the first-line drugs used to treat TB, and is now found in every country in the world. MDR TB remains a growing threat around the world, further emphasizing the need to find, cure, and prevent TB at the earliest stages of infection. Despite being preventable and curable, TB ranks alongside HIV as the top cause of death from infectious disease globally. Compared to TB that is not drug resistant, MDR TB takes a hefty human and economic toll – it requires longer treatment times and costlier drugs, can cause serious and permanent side effects, and significantly increases the risk of death. If left unchecked, 75 million additional people could die from MDR TB by 2050, costing the global economy $17 trillion in lost productivity.


The White House National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug Resistant TB


The White House National Action Plan charts the best course of action to ensure the U.S. does its part to control the spread of MDR TB; it is designed to:

  • Strengthen domestic capacity to combat MDR-TB
  • Improve our ability to prevent TB drug resistance in the U.S. by promptly identifying and treating all patients with TB and those who have been in close contact with them
  • Expand international capacity and collaboration to combat MDR TB through investments in innovative health technologies and greater access to prevention and care
  • Accelerate research and development that will lead to new tests that can more quickly diagnose TB, effective vaccines, innovative prevention approaches, and new treatment options


CDC’s Role in Implementing the White House National Action Plan to Combat Multidrug Resistant TB


As a key architect and implementer of the National Acton Plan, CDC is:

  • Identifying TB hotspots to target screening efforts
  • Supporting cutting-edge research to create better diagnostic tools and shorter MDR TB treatments
  • Strengthening the capacity of laboratories to diagnose MDR TB
  • Establishing best practices to end MDR TB transmission in health facilities
  • Helping to expedite the discovery of an effective vaccine
  • Continuing to accelerate efforts to prevent MDR TB among those co-infected with both TB and HIV—through PEPFAR


CDC is at the forefront of innovation to end TB as a global public health threat, providing on-the-ground interventions in more than 25 countries. CDC has amplified its global TB efforts by consolidating global TB resources and expertise from across the agency to increase coordination, collaboration and impact. To learn more about CDC’s efforts to fight MDR TB across the globe, see the following resources:

Fact Sheet

The impact of MDR TB around the world and CDC’s work with partners to fight this epidemic around the world, click hereCdc-pdf.


To get a snapshot of the burden of TB worldwide and CDC’s efforts to combat this epidemic, click hereCdc-pdf.


Personal Perspectives on TB

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks about his personal experience with the disease.

  • In this video, he discusses how he developed latent TB infection and introduces the poignant stories of health workers who contracted TB while caring for others.


Dalene von Delft, a young South African doctor, developed MDR TB while treating patients. After years of toxic treatments, facing the prospect of deafness and even death, she was finally cured of her TB. Now, as a full time ER doctor, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to advocating on behalf of TB sufferers around the world.

  • In this videoExternal, Dr. von Delft and her husband recount her 2-year battle with MDR TB


Diana Forno, M.D., a physician and surgeon in CDC-Guatemala is fighting MDR TB by training doctors and nurses on the basic TB infection control practices that stop resistance from developing in the first place

  • Dr. Forno has spent decades working on the front lines with Ministries of Health and partners to control TB in some of the hardest-hit countries in Central America.
Page last reviewed: February 27, 2018