The United Nations high-level meeting on TB

On 26 September 2018, the UN held its first high-level meeting on tuberculosis, at its New York HQ. The meeting was titled: United to end TB: an urgent global response to a global epidemic. It highlighted the need for immediate action to accelerate progress towards the goal of ending the TB epidemic by 2030, and resulted in seven key targets and commitments for 2022 from the heads of state present. 

In brief summary, these included: the aim to successfully treat 40 million people by 2020 and 3.5 million children by 2022; preventative TB treatment for 30 million of those most at risk by 2022; successfully treating 1.5 million people with DR-TB, including 115,000 children, by 2022; plus targets for financing for universal access to quality prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, and for R&D.

The Global Plan to End TB 2018-2022, Stop TB Partnership

The Global Plan provides direction for the fight against TB for a five-year period. It's a costed blueprint for how global TB efforts can become significantly more ambitious and effective over the five-year period by dramatically changing the way TB programs are run. 

The Global Plan recognizes that the number of new people developing TB is not declining at a pace that would put us on the path to end TB by 2030. Therefore, it demands that all governments, country programs, society, communities, technical partners, international organizations and the private sector, work together to reach at least 90% of people with TB, including key and vulnerable populations. These efforts should place them on appropriate treatment, and ensure that at least 90% have a successful completion.

To support countries in meeting these milestones, Stop TB Partnership will monitor progress against the targets and recommendations. Measuring this progress will unveil the gaps at each stage, exposing the unacceptably high numbers of people who are being left behind.

A Human Rights and People Centered Approach 

Stop TB Partnership has published a Declaration of the rights of people affected by tuberculosis. A human-rights-based approach to TB is grounded in international, regional and domestic law, and establishes the legal obligations of governments. These laws establish rights to health, non-discrimination, privacy, freedom of movement, and enjoyment of the benefits of scientific progress, among others. Thus, every person affected by tuberculosis has the right to available, accessible, acceptable and high-quality healthcare for tuberculosis, as an integral component of universal health coverage, to ensure that at-risk, vulnerable and underserved populations are not left behind. 

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include SDG 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.” Within this commitment, Goal 3.3. states: “By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.” 

This is the overarching goal. TB causes death or great suffering for millions of people. Yet despite years of effort and investment, we are far from achieving this goal and ending the global TB epidemic by 2030. To do so, a multi-sectoral response is needed at global, regional and country levels, with increased and sustained political attention, and effective tools and solutions to support increases in TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.

Several interrelated global campaigns and targets to fight TB support this goal to end TB by 2030. Here we outline some, most of which link to more detailed pages. 

The End TB Strategy 2015 (WHO)

This aims to end the global tuberculosis epidemic, and has a vision of a world free of TB, with no deaths, disease or suffering due to TB. It sets out a series of requirements, with the following goals:

  • 95% reduction by 2035 in number of TB deaths compared with 2015.
  • 90% reduction by 2035 in TB incidence rate compared with 2015.
  • No families affected by TB facing catastrophic costs due to TB by 2035.