The fight against tuberculosis is an international cause of concern. Millions of people die every year, mostly in developing countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that 80 percent of all TB cases and deaths occur in developing countries. Among women, TB is the leading killer, accounting for 35 percent of all TB deaths. The new WHO Global TB Strategy aims to end the tangled web of sex-based sex discrimination, stigma, and ignorance.
The World Health Organization says that a quarter of the world population is infected with TB bacteria, but has not yet developed the disease. In 2017, around 10 million people died of the disease. Worldwide, the number of new TB cases is declining. The reduction is faster in Africa and Europe. In the U.S., the rate of TB deaths is down four percent per year, but the problem remains widespread.
Efforts are necessary for the global effort to end TB. The new strategy has adopted the DTPB approach, which stands for Detect-Treat-Prevent-Build. The DTPB approach has many benefits, including early diagnosis and treatment, which leads to better health outcomes and reduced socioeconomic distress. It also stresses the importance of action on the underlying causes of TB.
The latest WHO report on the global TB response highlights that there are still more unidentified TB cases. Close to three million new cases were reported last year, but they are still missing. Of these, eighty percent of missing TB cases were found in ten countries. India is the country with the most TB cases, with more than a million new cases each year.
The WHO’s new strategy acknowledges the need for bold policy changes. It calls for universal health coverage, which is essential in developing countries. It emphasizes action on the “upstream” determinants of TB. Similarly, TB in developing countries is endemic. It is not rare for a country to have a single symptom. The new strategy calls for the development of a national TB control strategy.
Despite the increasing prevalence of TB, the new strategy recognises the need for bold policy changes in order to combat the disease. It calls for universal health coverage and social protection schemes to protect individuals from catastrophic health expenditures. The new strategy calls for action on “upstream determinants” of TB. For example, reducing poverty is essential. But a high-income economy is not necessarily an advantage.
The global TB campaign began in 2006 and has since then increased the number of people affected. The goal is to eliminate the disease, as well as the deaths caused by it, by 2030. However, this is an ambitious goal and the world must make every effort to eradicate the disease. Achieving it will require a major political commitment to achieve the goal of eliminating the disease.