World TB Day, 24 March, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts.
TB is curable, but current efforts to find, treat and cure everyone who gets ill with the disease are not sufficient. Of the 9 million people a year who get sick with TB, 3 million of them are "missed" by health systems. World TB Day provides the opportunity to call for further action to reach the 3 million. All partners can help take forward innovative approaches to ensure that everyone suffering from TB has access to TB diagnosis, treatment and cure.
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Secretary-General, in Message, Says All Tuberculosis Sufferers Deserve Access to Treatment as Matter of Social Justice, Global Health Security
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message for World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March:
Tuberculosis is the world’s second most deadly infectious diseases among adults, after HIV/AIDS. Every year, TB kills 1.3 million people and causes nearly 9 million to fall ill.
The tragedy is that TB is curable, yet one third of those who have it — some 3 million people — do not get the treatment they need. Most are poor. Many are from marginalized populations such as migrant workers, refugees and internally displaced persons, prisoners, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.
Progress in recent years has proven that we can tackle this threat with concerted efforts. Between 1995 and 2012, global health interventions saved 22 million lives and successfully treated 56 million people suffering from TB.
To accelerate results, we need to increase access to health services and mobilize communities, hospitals and private providers to reach more people and treat them faster. We must also invest more in research to find diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines.
Everyone with TB should have access to the services they need for rapid diagnosis, treatment and cure. This is a matter of social justice. It is also an issue of global health security, given the rapidly emerging problem of patients with deadly, extensively drug-resistant TB going undetected. Even when they are diagnosed, many lack access to effective treatment.
On World Tuberculosis Day, I call for intensified global solidarity to eradicate this preventable disease. By caring for the 3 million people who do not have the treatment they need, we will foster a better future for all humankind.
"Missing millions" push on World TB Day | United Nations Radio
One third of the estimated 9 million people who get sick with tuberculosis each year do not receive care, according to the World Health Organization.
WHO says those who are "missed" by health systems often live in the world's poorest, most vulnerable communities or are among marginalized populations such as migrants, refugees, prisoners, indigenous populations or drug users.
Tuberculosis or TB is curable, but current efforts to find, treat and cure everyone who gets the disease are falling short.
Patrick Maigua spoke to Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the Global TB programme at WHO for World Tuberculosis Day, observed 24 March.