United Nations, Mar 25 : Tuberculosis is not only the world's top infectious killer, it is also the leading cause of deaths among people with HIV and a major cause of antimicrobial resistance-related deaths, the United Nations health agency said on World Tuberculosis Day.
TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer, claiming nearly 4,500 lives each year and afflicting close to 30,000 others according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Since 2000, global efforts to combat this preventable and curable disease have saved an estimated 54 million lives and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42 per cent. “The theme of this year’s World TB Day is- It’s time to end TB,” saidTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, leading the global call to “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB”
In line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage, on this World TB Day, WHO on Sunday calls on Governments, affected communities, civil society organisations, health-care providers, and national/international partners to unite forces under the banner “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” to ensure no one is left behind.
To accelerate the TB response, Heads of State came together in September 2018 and made strong commitments to end the disease at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting.
“We’re highlighting the urgent need to translate commitments made at the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on TB into actions that ensure everyone who needs TB care can get it,” stated the WHO chief.
Last week, WHO issued new guidance to improve treating multidrug-resistant TB and, made recommendations that included cross-sector actions to monitor and review progress; prioritised planning and implementation of TB interventions and a task force to ensure meaningful civil society engagement.
“This is a set of pragmatic actions that countries can use to accelerate progress and act on the high-level commitments made in the first-ever UN High Level Meeting on TB last September,” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director WHO’s Global TB Programme. (UNI)