It is unacceptable that millions lose their lives, and many more suffer daily from a preventable and curable disease,” said Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme
Tuberculosis (TB), a preventable, treatable and curable disease claimed 1.6m lives just last year including 300,000 people who lived with HIV, according to a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO). Furthermore, multidrug-resistant TB remains a serious public health crisis throughout the world. It is estimated that TB could cost the global economy upwards of 1 trillion dollars by 2030.
It has been 25 years since this deadly disease was declared a global emergency by the WHO and since then at least 10 declarations have stressed the burden of TB and the need to develop new products to prevent, diagnose and cure TB. Despite this, TB remains the world’s deadliest infection, showing that our progress has simply not been good enough.
TB is a “vicious epidemic” fuelled by poverty, inequality, migration, and conflict, and ending the TB epidemic will require action beyond the health sector to address the risk factors and determinants of the disease. Commitments at the level of Heads of State will be essential to galvanize multi-sectoral action.
To meet the global target of ending TB by 2030, Heads of state and government at the first-ever UN High-level meeting on TB approved the following declarations:
- They commit to treating 40 million people with TB in the next Five years
- To provide 30 million people with treatment to prevent TB
- To reach the most vulnerable and marginalized populations first, not last
- To fight stigma and discrimination, and protect and promote human rights
- To overcome the global health crisis of drug-resistance
- To invest US$ 2 billion a year in research and innovations
- To mobilize US$ 13 billion a year to translate plans into results
- And to hold each other accountable for these results
“The political declaration proposed for this meeting sets a roadmap for accelerated action to end TB in line with the vision and targets for 2030. We have before us the opportunity for a clear win – a chance to save the lives of millions, to preserve billions in resources. Let us not miss this opportunity.”- Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly
These are bold promises and we call on the World leaders to back these declarations up with actions. We expect to look back at this meeting’s outcome as the moment when the world amassed the political will and resources needed to finally end TB and leave no one behind