The WHO Global TB report (key-document for people working in TB management and control) highlights the need to close detection and treatment gaps, fill funding shortfalls, and develop new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.
The fight against tuberculosis is paying off, with this year’s death rate nearly half of what it was in 1990. Nevertheless, 1.5 million people died from TB in 2014. Most of these deaths could have been prevented, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2015, which was released today in Washington, DC. To reduce TB’s overall burden, detection and treatment gaps need to be closed, funding shortfalls filled and new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines developed, according to the report. Most of the improvement has come since 2000, the year the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] were established. In all, effective diagnosis and treatment saved 43 million lives between 2000 and 2015, according to the report, the 20th in a series of annual evaluations produced by WHO. The report shows that TB control has had a tremendous impact in terms of lives saved and patients cured,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “These advances are heartening, but if the world is to end this epidemic, it needs to scale up services and, critically, invest in research.” Those advances include the achievement of the MDG that called for halting and reversing TB incidence by 2015. The goal was reached globally and in 16 of the 22 high-burden countries that collectively account for 80% of cases. Worldwide, TB incidence has fallen 1.5% per year since 2000, for a total reduction of 18%.
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