24th March 2017, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge will today join a wealth of international landmarks in lighting up red to mark World TB Day to raise awareness of the impact tuberculosis has globally. Currently one-third of the world’s population is infected with the TB-causing bacterium.
Other landmarks that will be illuminated include Niagara Falls, Canada, The Jet D’Eau on Lake Geneva and landmarks in the cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Santander.
TB is often thought of as an infectious disease that affects distant countries, when in reality the impact of the disease is felt closer than people think. According to statistics from Public Health England, the UK has the second highest mortality rate from TB in Western Europe; with incidence rates in parts of east London comparable to those in India.
Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership added “TB was for too long in the shadow… dark, hidden and stigmatising. It is time to bring TB to light and make every single citizen of this planet aware that this disease, even though it is now the biggest infectious disease killer, can be defeated! We just need to care … and lighting landmarks in cities in the world is a great way to show this.”
Once diagnosed, TB is a curable and preventable disease but current methods of diagnosis rely on centuries-old technology, with over 90% of TB tests being performed with a basic microscope. Increasing access to accurate and affordable diagnostics is one of the most effective ways we can impact the spread of TB, which currently kills 1.9 million people each year – more than any other infectious disease, globally.
The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance – which cannot be diagnosed using current diagnosis methods – is also a concern amongst the TB community. Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) could cost the global economy a cumulative $16.7 trillion by 2050 and claim the lives of up to 75 million people.
“New diagnostic tools are desperately needed to help fight TB and multi-drug resistant TB. We have been working tirelessly to address this issue and we believe we have finally arrived at a solution for low cost, highly sensitive TB testing using our novel technologies”; said QuantuMDx’s Chief Scientific Officer, Jonathan O’Halloran.
North-East England based QuantuMDx, who are leading the World TB Day activity in the North-East, are aiming to support eradication efforts with their portable DNA analyser Q-POC™. With an estimated 4.3 million cases in 2015 ‘missed’ by healthcare systems, an accurate and rapid point-of-care test such as Q-POC™, that is deployable in the community could have an incredible impact.
QuantuMDx’s Chief Executive Officer Elaine Warburton said “Many people believe that tuberculosis in the UK has been eradicated, when the reality is it never went away.
“We want to thank Gateshead Council for supporting us and World TB Day to help raise awareness of the impact tuberculosis is having in the UK and across the world. There is still a long way to go to tackle the disease but by raising awareness and bringing together the right people, we will have a real chance of stopping TB and eradicating the disease permanently.”
For press enquiries please contact
Lucy Harvey, Marketing Officer, QuantuMDx Group
0870 803 1234
About QuantuMDx Group
Improving global healthcare by developing transformative technologies that will enable rapid, accurate and affordable diagnostic testing in the community.
QuantuMDx Group is a multinational technology developer headquartered in the United Kingdom, with operations and partners in the United States, Asia, Europe and Africa.
The company’s flagship product Q-POC™’s superior testing capabilities will bring the power of precision medicine to health professionals globally, enabling immediate detection of antimicrobial resistance and subsequent ‘right first time prescribing’.
QuantuMDx was co-founded by CEO Elaine Warburton OBE, inventor and CSO Jonathan O’Halloran and CFO Julian Warburton. Fellow Board members include CMO Professor Sir John Burn, COO Dr Sam Whitehouse and President of QuantuMDx USA Paul Fitzpatrick. Prof Sanjeev Krishna chairs the Infectious Disease Advisory Committee.
QuantuMDx is a privately owned company with a strongly humanitarian focus.
About World TB Day
World TB Day is organized each year on 24 March and aims to build awareness on TB. It is an opportunity for people everywhere to join the fight against TB, sharing information about TB and urging governments to take action. In 2017, World TB Day, under the overarching theme of ‘Unite to End TB’, is an important milestone on the road to the Global Ministerial Conference on TB in Moscow in November 2017, the UN High Level Meeting on TB in 2018 and looking further towards ending TB.