Delhi, India, March 13, 2018 — Health leaders from around the world gathered here today to fast track the fight to end tuberculosis. The day’s events included the formal launch by Prime Minister Modi of a strategy to end TB in India by 2025.
TB is currently the world’s leading infectious killer, claiming 1.7 million lives in 2016. Coming up this fall, Heads of State from around the world will gather at the UN General Assembly for a High-Level Meeting focused on TB.
Comments from Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, in response to Delhi End TB Summit 2018:
That TB remains the world’s leading infectious killer is as much about lack of political attention as it is about science. Today’s announcements signal a chance to turn things around for good. India is home to the biggest national TB epidemic, and it’s now also home to one of the planet’s most ambitious strategies to put an end to the epidemic.
When heads of state gather at the UN General Assembly in September for the High-Level Meeting on TB, they need to follow the example set here in Delhi. The future of this epidemic hinges on our collective willingness to make it a priority.
For a disease that’s largely preventable, treatable, and curable, we cannot be satisfied with a status quo that fails to reach one out of every three people. Every year 4 million people sick with TB are going without the quality care they deserve. But today WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced TB CAMP, a new initiative to bring that number to zero. This is an equity issue. It’s well within our collective power to reach every last person with quality testing, treatment, and care – if we muster the resources and focus.
Together the WHO and the Stop TB Partnership are challenging leaders to commit to doing their part, in every community, country, and region, to reach 40 million people with quality treatment by 2023. As we approach the High-Level Meeting this fall, we need to make those commitments, and put them into action.
After the White House tried to slash U.S. funding for TB last year, we saw leaders in the Senate come together to fight for an increase. For its part, the U.S. can and should be doing even more. I hope members of Congress and the White House are watching what happened in Delhi today and getting ready to step up themselves.
For decades, TB has been stuck at the bottom of the list of global political priorities, allowing it to climb up the list of the biggest global killers. We can and we must reverse that trend. High-level political commitment, new investment, and a strategy to reach and treat everyone can make that happen.
About RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund:
RESULTS supports a movement of passionate, committed everyday people using their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. Volunteers and staff multiply their impact through the enormous power of advocacy.
Our movement of volunteers is backed by a staff of researchers, policy analysts, and legislative and media experts. Our shared goal is the end of poverty. We have affiliates and partners across five continents, and a network of volunteers in all 50 states and worldwide. We’re a non-partisan advocacy group comprised of RESULTS Educational Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and RESULTS, a nonprofit 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying organization.