It’s time to address the tuberculosis epidemic

It is expected that 75 million people will die from tuberculosis by 2050. 
 
 
In December 2015, the Obama administration released the National Action Plan for Combatting Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis; however, no funding has yet been allocated. 
 
 
The bacteria causing tuberculosis spreads through the air simply from coughing, sneezing or talking, making this disease highly transmissible. 
 
 
Here in the United States, we have the infrastructure and resources to combat this disease. However, globally — in places where health care is not easily accessible — many with tuberculosis will die.
 
 
Additionally, multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis have emerged due to the lack of proper treatments in impoverished areas. 
 
 
While this is not yet a major issue in the U.S., it could soon become one based on increased global interactions. Because of this, it is necessary that $400 million be subsidized for tuberculosis treatment for the National Action Plan on Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. 
 
 
Rep. Keith Ellison has already put his support behind anti-tuberculosis measures in Congress, but I would like to see his continued support of this issue and for Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar to join him. 
 
 
I ask all of them to speak to their colleagues on the Committee of Appropriations to add this issue to the fiscal year 2017 budget and to publicly endorse this issue.
 
 
Rachel Heuer
University student