Tuberculosis remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer, claiming nearly 4,500 lives each year and afflicting close to 30,000 others according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since 2000, global efforts to combat this preventable and curable disease have saved an estimated 54 million lives and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42 per cent.
Each 24 March, the world commemorates TB Day to raise awareness of the devastating health, social and economic consequences of the disease, and to step up efforts to end the global epidemic. The theme of this year’s World TB Day is: ”It’s time to end TB,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, leading the global call to “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB”
In line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage, WHO calls on Governments, affected communities, civil society organizations, health-care providers, and national/international partners to unite forces to ensure no one is left behind.
To accelerate the TB response, Heads of State came together in September 2018 and made strong commitments to end the disease at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting.
“We’re highlighting the urgent need to translate commitments made at the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on TB into actions that ensure everyone who needs TB care can get it,” stated the WHO chief.
Last week, WHO issued new guidance to improve treating multidrug-resistant TB and, made recommendations that included cross-sector actions to monitor and review progress; prioritized planning and implementation of TB interventions; and a task force to ensure meaningful civil society engagement.