Better tools are need to end tuberculosis and anti-microbial resistance
By the time you finish reading this piece, 12 people will have died from tuberculosis (TB). Every 15 seconds, a life is lost to TB. It is unacceptable that this highly infectious disease, discovered over a hundred years ago, kills around 1.5 million people every year.
And the numbers are growing. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, TB was the deadliest infectious disease.
Now, the pandemic has undone years of progress in tackling TB, with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) latest Global Tuberculosis Report highlighting that TB deaths increased for the first time in over a decade in 2020, with projections suggesting that the number of people developing and dying from TB could be even higher in coming years.
A multitude of crises, including global pandemics, climate change, and armed conflicts, have significant repercussions on managing infectious diseases like TB. Challenges with providing and accessing essential TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic have meant that many people with TB have gone undiagnosed, and many have lost access to their treatment.
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