A statement: WHO calls on countries and partners to "Unite to End Tuberculosis". Excerpt:
In advance of World TB Day, to be observed on 24 March, WHO is calling on countries and partners to "Unite to End Tuberculosis".
The call comes as we enter the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ending tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 is a target of the SDGs and the goal of the WHO End TB Strategy.
That is an ambitious aim. While there has been significant progress in the fight against TB, with 43 million lives saved since 2000, the battle is only half-won: over 4 000 people lose their lives each day to this leading infectious disease. Many of the communities that are most burdened by tuberculosis are those that are poor, vulnerable and marginalized.
Greater collaboration needed
Ending TB will only be achieved with greater collaboration within and across governments, and with partners from civil society, communities, researchers, the private sector and development agencies. This means taking a whole-of-society and multidisciplinary approach, in the context of universal health coverage.
Momentum is growing at country and community levels – including in the 30 countries with the highest TB burden (over 85% of the global burden). A number of countries are strengthening the strategic agendas of their TB programmes, by adopting newer tools, extending access to care and linking with other parts of government to reduce the financial costs borne by patients. Other countries are partnering with researchers to speed development of diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines, and to improve delivery.