World leaders have committed to ensuring that 40 million people with tuberculosis (TB) globally receive the care they need by end 2022.
The leaders have also agreed to provide 30 million people with preventive treatment to protect them from developing TB.
Heads of state and government who attended the first-ever UN High-level meeting on TB agreed to mobilize US$ 13 billion a year by 2022 to implement TB prevention and care, and US$ 2 billion for research. They also committed to taking firm action against drug-resistant forms of the disease; build accountability and to prioritize human rights issues such as the stigma that still prevails around TB in many parts of the world.
The leaders acknowledged that the current rate of progress was endangering prospects of meeting global targets to end TB.
The Global Tuberculosis report 2018 revealed that 558,000 across the world developed TB that was resistant to rifampicin (RR-TB), the most effective first-line drug in 2017.
According to WHO, about 1.7 billion people or 23 percent of the world’s population, have latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit the disease.
Overall, TB deaths have decreased over the past year. In 2017, there were 1.6 million deaths (including among 300 000 HIV-positive people). Since 2000, a 44 percent reduction in TB deaths occurred among people with HIV compared with a 29 percent decrease among HIV-negative people;
Globally, an estimated 10 million people developed TB in 2017. The number of new cases is falling by 2 percent per year, although faster reductions have occurred in Europe (5 percent per year) and Africa (4 percent per year) between 2013 and 2017.
“Today, world leaders have taken a set of landmark steps to beat NCDs,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “These add up to a historic opportunity to promote health, save lives, and grow economies.”