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Additional $1.6 billion a year needed to curb TB
Ahead of World TB Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) have announced that an additional annual investment of $1.6 billion is needed to prevent and treat tuberculosis (TB) globally. In the wake of an alarming rise in multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in recent years, the WHO and GFATM have described the situation as a major threat to progress to date. With an estimated 630,000 people with this form of TB, now is the time to act to ensure that the disease can be brought under control.
TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV in low-income countries. It is estimated that over a million people worldwide have TB and HIV coinfection, with rates in sub-Saharan Africa being particularly high. WHO has worked collaboratively with the Global Fund – the largest funder of TB interventions – and the Stop TB Partnership to support countries with the highest TB burdens to review their priorities and identify funding gaps. Almost 60 percent of the $1.6 billion gap identified relates to the WHO Africa region.
World TB Day is held each year on 24 March with the goal of raising awareness of the disease and the way if affects people in different parts of the world, as well as putting the spotlight on TB prevention and control efforts.