Tuberculosis control efforts fall far short, WHO warns
Governments need to get their heads out of sand, realize TB is not a disease consigned to 1800s: MSF
In its annual report on tackling TB, a highly contagious lung disease which kills more people each year than HIV and malaria combined, the WHO said progress had been dismal and called for "bold political commitment and increased funding."
- 'This organization saves lives:' Trudeau tells Global Fund donors
- Giant pouched rats sniff out tuberculosis in Africa
"The dismal progress in the TB response is a tragedy for the millions of people suffering from this disease," the director of the WHO's TB programme, Mario Raviglione, said in a statement. "To save more lives now, we must get newly recommended rapid tests, drugs and regimens to those who need them. Current actions and investments fall far short of what is needed."
"Countries are failing to diagnose and treat millions of people with TB," he said in a statement. "Governments need to get their heads out of the sand and realise that TB is not a disease consigned to the 1800s; we see and treat TB in our clinics every day, and it's a deadly threat to all of us."
The report warned of a widening gap between the finances needed for TB care and prevention in poor and middle-income countries, and actual funds available. A $2-billion US shortfall now, from some $8.3 billion needed for 2016, will widen to $6 billion by 2020 if funding is not increased.
Other less wealthy countries rely heavily on international donor financing, with more than 75 percent coming from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.