WHO is calling for huge investments to control tuberculosis

Global spending on the fight against tuberculosis is almost inadequate to expect to resume the fight against tuberculosis, and WHO Monday after COVID-19 wiped out years of fighting. Warned.

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Prior to World Tuberculosis Day (March 24), the World Health Organization said the goal set for 2022 was “at risk, mainly due to lack of funding.”

According to WHO, global spending on TB screening, treatment and prevention in 2020 was half of the global target of $ 13 billion annually.

“Developing and expanding access to the most innovative services and tools to prevent, detect and treat tuberculosis requires urgent investment, which saves millions of lives and fails each year. We can reduce equality and avoid huge losses. Economical, “WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adanom Gebreez said in a statement.

“These investments bring enormous rates of return to countries and donors,” he added.

From a R & D perspective in the field of tuberculosis, WHO estimates that the world as a whole should invest an additional $ 1.1 billion.

According to WHO, tuberculosis is the second leading cause of death from infectious diseases (after COVID-19). Every day, more than 4,100 people die of the disease and nearly 30,000 suffer from this preventable and curable disease.

The disruption of medical services due to the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed many years of global progress in the fight against M. tuberculosis caused by M. tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis most commonly affects the lungs.

The number of deaths associated with the disease is rising again, and WHO announced in mid-October for the first time in more than a decade.

WHO is calling for investment to accelerate the development of new vaccines against tuberculosis, but the existing vaccine, BCG, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and its effectiveness is only partial.

Dr. Teresa Casaeva, director of WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Program, said at a news conference that the new vaccine “will be a game changer.”

The nine candidate vaccines are in late development and the technology behind the mRNA vaccine is also promising. “If prioritized, we believe it is entirely possible to get a new tuberculosis vaccine that is effective by 2025,” said Casaeva.

From 2018 to 2020, 20 million people worldwide received tuberculosis treatment. That’s 50% of the five-year target set at 40 million people.

During this same period, 8.7 million people received preventive treatment for tuberculosis. This corresponds to 29% of the target set between 2018 and 2022.

The situation is even worse for children and adolescents.

By 2020, 63% of children and adolescents under the age of 15 with tuberculosis remained out of health care system surveillance or were not officially reported to have access to testing and treatment services. For children under the age of 5, the percentage was even higher, at 72%.