Geneva, 14 October 2020 - The World Health Organization (WHO) released today the 2020 edition of its Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report. The report, which WHO releases annually, features data on disease trends and the response to the epidemic in 198 countries and territories.
Sharonann Lynch, Senior HIV/TB Policy Advisor, MSF Access Campaign:
Two years after global leaders agreed to give TB the attention the world’s deadliest infectious disease deserves, it’s disheartening to see that governments are not on track to reach testing and treatment goals. TB has remained a burden throughout the course of human history, so isn’t it about time that governments got more serious about tackling this killer disease?
While TB progress has been dismally slow, there are now several newer tests and drugs that could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year, so why aren’t we seeing governments rolling them out more? Why are governments continuing to try to tackle this disease with one hand tied behind their back, when they could be doing so much better?
Governments need to make sure there are rapid TB testing services in every health facility so we can reach many more people with lifesaving treatment. With COVID-19 causing backtracking on TB testing, governments need to come up with a catch-up plan. Time’s up for excuses.