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WHO: Global TB Progress at Risk

Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, many countries were making steady progress in combating tuberculosis (TB), with a 9% decrease in the incidence observed between 2015 and 2019 and a 14% drop in deaths over the same period. High-level political commitments at the global and national levels were yielding results. However, a new report by WHO suggests that access to TB services remains a challenge, and that the global goals of prevention and treatment will be missed without immediate action and investment.

Around 1.4 million people died of TB-related diseases in 2019. An estimated 10 million people developed TB that year, with some 3 million not being diagnosed with the disease, or not officially reported to national authorities.

The condition is even more acute for people with drug-resistant TB. In 2019, approximately 465 000 people were diagnosed with drug-resistant TB and less than 40% of these people were able to use the treatment. There has also been limited progress in increasing access to treatment to prevent TB.

WHO Director General Drs. “Equal access to quality and timely diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care is a challenge,” said Tedros Adenom Ghebayeus. “Accelerated action is urgently needed worldwide to meet our goals by 2022.”

According to the report, approximately 14 million people were treated in the 2018–2019 period, which is more than a third of the 5-year target (2018–2022) of 40 million. Some 6.3 million people started TB preventive treatment in 2018-2019, nearly a fifth toward the target of 5 million 30 million.

Funding is a major issue. In 2020, funding for TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care reached
US $ 6.5 billion, representing only half of the US $ 13 billion target agreed by world leaders in the United Nations political declaration on TB.

COVID-19 epidemic and TB

Interruption of services caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has led to more failures. In many countries, human, financial and other resources have been redistributed to the COVID-19 response from TB. Data collection and reporting systems have also been negatively affected.

According to the new report, data collisions from over 200 countries have led to a significant reduction in reported TB cases, with 3 high-burden countries reporting a 25-30% decline – India, Indonesia, the Philippines – January and A period of 6 months in 2019, according to WHO modeling compared between June 2020. A decrease in notifications can cause a dramatic increase in deaths from additional TB.

However, in line with WHO guidance, countries have taken measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on essential TB services, including strengthening infection control. A total of 108 countries – including 21 countries with TB burden – have expanded the use of digital technologies to provide remote advice and assistance. To reduce the need for visits to healthcare facilities, many countries are encouraging home remedies for people suffering from drug-based TB, provision of TB preventive treatment, and maintaining adequate supplies of medicines to people suffering from TB.

Director of WHO’s Global TB Program Drs. “In opposition to the epidemic, countries, civil society and other partners have joined forces to ensure essential services for both TB and COVID-19,” said Tereza Kseva. “These efforts are critical to strengthen health systems, ensure health for all, and save lives.”

The UN Secretary-General’s recent progress report outlines 10 priority actions for member states and other stakeholders, including gaps in TB care, financing and research, as well as advance multisectoral action and accountability, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes reference to.

Attention to editors

Global goal

In 2014 and 2015, WHO and all UN member states adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO’s & TB strategy. Both the SDGs and the End TB strategy include targets and milestones for major reductions in TB incidence, TB deaths, and costs to TB patients and their homes.

TB included under target 3 SDG target 3.3 The aim is to “end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases by 2030”.

WHO & TB Strategy The target is to reduce TB deaths by 90% compared to the 2015 baseline and by 80% in TB incidence by 2030. Milestones for 2020 include a 20% reduction in TB incidence rates and a 35% reduction in TB deaths.

Efforts to increase political commitment in the fight against TB began in September 2018, at the United Nations General Assembly’s first high-level meeting on TB, in 2017 and 2018. The result was a political declaration in which commitments to the SDGs and the End TB Strategy were reaffirmed. The UN political declaration on TB also includes 4 new targets for the period 2018-2022:

  • Treat 40 million people for TB disease
  • Reach at least 30 million people with TB preventive treatment for a latent TB infection
  • Use at least US $ 13 billion annually for universal access to TB diagnosis, treatment and care
  • Raise at least US $ 2 billion annually for TB research

Progress towards global goals

According to the new report, the WHO European region is on track to achieve the key 2020 targets of the WHO End TB Strategy, with a reduction in incidence and deaths of 19% and 31% respectively over the past 5-year period. The African region has also made impressive gains, with corresponding reductions of 16% and 19% over the same timeframe. Globally, however, the pace of progress has lagged behind, and important 2020 milestones of the end TB strategy will be missed.


As in previous years, the most available TB funding (85%) in 2020 came from domestic sources, with Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa providing 57% of the global total. International donor funding increased from US $ 900 billion in 2019 to US $ 1 billion in 2020. The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria was the largest source of international TB financing in 2020, while the United States is the largest bilateral trader in efforts to end TB.

Research and innovation

Technical breakthroughs will be needed to reach the 2030 global TB targets by 2030. The world needs inexpensive and accessible rapid point-of-care testing, as well as new, safer and more effective treatments and vaccines. To meet these challenges, member states called on the WHO in 2018 to develop a global strategy for TB research and innovation, which takes important steps for government and non-state actors. This strategy was adopted by the World Health Assembly in August 2020.

Multifunctional action and accountability

Proceeding towards the abolition of TB will depend on action in the regions, which underscore the importance of the implementation of WHO’s multilateral accountability framework on TB. In 2019 and 2020, WHO incorporates accountability mechanisms in national budget planning with high TB-burdened countries and pursues evaluation during high-level missions and ensures joint TB program review with engagement of civil society representatives worked for.

Facts about TB

The world’s deadliest infectious killer is caused by TB (TB) bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) It most often affects the lungs. It can spread when people living with TB expel bacteria in the air – for example, from cough.

About 90 percent of people who fall ill each year from TB live in 30 countries. Most people who develop the disease are adults, and have more cases in men than women.

TB is preventable and treatable. Approximately 85% of people who develop TB disease can be successfully treated with a 6-month drug regimen; Treatment has the added benefit of further transmission of infection.

Since 2000, TB treatment has resulted in more than 60 million deaths – although access to universal health coverage is still decreasing, many millions have also missed diagnosis and care.

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