Friends for International Tuberculosis Relief is a registered non-profit society in Germany. Our work is based on the vision of a world free of tuberculosis (TB). As the number of new cases has decreased to approximately 4,000 annually, TB has fallen into oblivion in the western world and countries like Germany. However, each year the number of new cases worldwide still counts about 9 million people. Additionally, between 1-2 million people die each year from this completely curable disease. Labeled as a “child of poverty,” TB infects almost exclusively those people who are suffering from malnutrition and a weakened immune system – conditions commonly encountered among impoverished populations in developing countries. Hence, in contrast to HIV in the western world there is a severe lack of awareness about TB. As a result, investment and aid to fight TB is limited. Unwilling to tolerate this apathy, we have committed ourselves to share the wealth of our well-being and our society with the less fortunate members of this world.
Despite this paucity of awareness, it nevertheless represents a serious threat even to us and the developed world. While the “white plague” of old has been largely overcome domestically, a new emergency has emerged in recent years. Largely due to human error in the treatment of the disease new forms of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis have evolved. At best, one of the new forms called “Multidrug-Resistant TB” will require four times the duration and one hundred times the cost of treatment. At worst, patients infected with “Extensively,” “Extremely” or even “Totally Drug-Resistant TB” will be condemned to forced isolation in a sanatorium to avoid infecting other people because no treatment currently exist for these forms of TB.
The mission of our society is to promote the progress in the field of TB eradication and assist in inhibiting the spread of TB, especially of the resistant forms. In particular, we aim to support non-profit organizations in Germany as well as those operating overseas in developing countries in TB care and elimination. On the one hand we aspire to improve the lives of the neediest populations in developing countries. On the other hand we want to ensure through our dedicated advocacy work that the general population in Germany and other developed countries are made fully aware of the risk of drug-resistant forms of TB and thus collectively strive towards ending this threat. Ultimately we also want to make your life easier and facilitate the donation process by actively reviewing and evaluating partner organizations to ensure the donations you make are effectively used by them for TB care and control.