Ahead of this year’s World TB Day, on March 24, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for support to diagnose and treat 40 million people with TB by 2022 including 3.5 million children with drug-resistant TB.
It is also seeking global support to mobilise sufficient and sustainable financing to reach $13 billion a year to end TB. The target is also to reach 30 million people with TB preventive treatment by 2022.
Information made available to ghanabusinessnews.com by the WHO said global support is also needed to invest in TB research to reach at least $2 billion a year to enable an improvement in science and tools to deal with the disease.
World TB Day is observed each year to raise public awareness and understanding about the disease and its devastating health, social and economic impact on people around the world.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “The Clock is Ticking” to convey a strong message that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments made by global leaders to end TB.
This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put “End TB” progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
According to the WHO, TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers, adding that each day, “nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.” It said global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000.
Ahead of the World TB Day therefore, the WHO is calling on everyone to keep the promise to accelerate the End TB Response to reach the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The WHO is organising a special virtual talk show to commemorate World TB Day on 24 March to put the spotlight on TB in the midst of the ongoing COVID crisis.
The event will take place in a talk-show format with speakers connected by video on WHO’s interactive web-platform – End TB Forum.
The main speakers will include ministers, leaders and other high-level government representatives, heads of agencies, TB survivors, civil society and partners.
By Eunice Menka
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