Tuberculosis remains leading infectious killer
30 OCTOBER 2017 | GENEVA – Global efforts to combat tuberculosis (TB) have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37%, according to the Global TB Report 2017, released by WHO today.
Despite these achievements, the latest picture is grim. TB remains the top infectious killer in 2016. TB is also the main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV. Progress in most countries is stalling and is not fast enough to reach global targets or close persistent gaps in TB care and prevention.
“While the world has committed to ending the TB epidemic by 2030, actions and investments don’t match the political rhetoric. We need a dynamic, global, multisectoral approach.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO…
“The sheer numbers of deaths and suffering speak for themselves – we are not accelerating fast enough,” said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme. “Prompt action towards universal health coverage and social protection, as well as breakthroughs in research and innovations – will be critical to enable access to patient-centered care of the highest standards for all, especially the poorest, most disadvantaged people everywhere.”…
- Underreporting and underdiagnosis of TB cases continues to be a challenge, especially in countries with large unregulated private sectors and weak health systems. – Of the estimated 10.4 million new cases, only 6.3 million were detected and officially notified in 2016, leaving a gap of 4.1 million. India, Indonesia and Nigeria accounted for almost half of this global gap.
- Only one in five MDR-TB cases were started on treatment. India and China accounted for 39% of the global gap. Treatment success remains low, at 54% globally.
- Of the almost half a million reported cases of HIV-associated TB, 15% were not on antiretroviral therapy (ART) as recommended by WHO. Most of the gaps related to HIV-associated TB were in the WHO African Region.
- TB preventive treatment is expanding in two priority risk groups – people living with HIV and children under 5 years. However, most people eligible for TB preventive treatment are not accessing it
- For TB care and prevention, investments in low- and middle-income countries fall almost US$ 2.3 billion short of the US$ 9.2 billion needed in 2017. In addition, at least an extra US$ 1.2 billion per year is required to accelerate the development of new vaccines, diagnostics, and medicines.