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GENEVA – Nearly one year after the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, the Stop TB Partnership, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the World Health Organization call for immediate action to implement the commitments made by heads of state and governments.

Targets that were agreed in the October 2018 Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Fight Against Tuberculosis for 2018-2022 are: (1) to provide appropriate diagnosis and treatment to 40 million people with TB, including 3.5 million children and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB; (2) to reach at least 30 million people with preventive treatment, including 4 million children under the age of 5; 6 million people living with HIV and 20 million other household contacts of people affected by TB; (3) to mobilize US$13 billion annually needed by 2022 for implementation; and (4) to mobilize US$2 billion annually for TB research and innovation.

These ambitious and time-bound targets will only be achieved if all political leaders, particularly in the countries with the highest burden of TB, take urgent action to ensure each country can achieve its national share of the global targets for the treatment of TB and preventive treatment, and countries work together to mobilize the necessary resources. The Stop TB Partnership, the Global Fund and the World Health Organization are committed to working with all partners to support countries in their work in planning and implementing these actions.

TB is now the world’s leading infectious killer, surpassing HIV. In 2017, TB killed 1.6 million people, including 300,000 HIV-positive people. 

“It is critical to put the foot on the pedal, to save millions from illness, suffering and death,” said Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme. “This is why WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently sent letters to heads of state of the highest burden countries highlighting the need for strong and visionary leadership now more than ever.”

The Stop TB Partnership, in collaboration with Avenir Health, has produced a breakdown of what the global 40 million and 30 million treatment targets mean for each country, using the latest estimates of TB disease burden and data on case notifications published by WHO. This country-by-country breakdown (http://www.stoptb.org/resources/countrytargets/) provides indicative targets and benchmarks that could be used to inform country dialogue, further refinement and development of national and sub-national targets, linked to the development and updating of national strategic plans for TB and associated funding requests, including to the Global Fund.

Several high-burden countries have already started to use these indicative targets to plan their actions toward ending TB, and others must do so as well if we are to collectively achieve the targets of the High-Level Meeting.

“The UN High-Level Meeting in 2018 demonstrated much greater political commitment to tackling TB, but now we need to deliver. We urgently need increased international funding to fight TB, and increased domestic resource mobilization,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Together we must step up the fight to diagnose and cure the millions currently being left untreated, and to counter the threat of drug-resistant TB. We can only reach the goal of ending TB as an epidemic by 2030 if we act now.”

In 2020, the UN Secretary-General will provide, with support from the WHO Director-General, a progress report on global and national progress toward achieving the commitments made in the 2018 Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Fight Against TB, which will serve to inform preparations for a comprehensive review by heads of state and government at a follow-up High-Level Meeting on TB in 2023.

“Every single country in the world has people with TB to be diagnosed, treated and cured, and financial investments to be made in TB programs,” said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director, the Stop TB Partnership. “The global, collective targets are to be achieved only if everyone achieves their part and keeps their commitments. It is an amazing joint effort that we have to do by the end of 2022. I hope that every country program will use their indicative ‘share’ of targets that we are presenting here today.”

Useful links:

Political Declaration on TB:
https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/73/3

UNHLM on TB Key Targets & Commitments:
http://www.stoptb.org/global/advocacy/unhlm_targets.asp

Country-by-country TB targets:
http://www.stoptb.org/resources/countrytargets/

WHO information webpage about the UNHLM on TB:https://www.who.int/news-room/events/un-general-assembly-high-level-meeting-on-ending-tb