With an annual death toll of 1.7 million people, TB is the world’s leading infectious killer. TB is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing and is therefore highly transmissible – approximately 2 billion people are infected with TB worldwide. As a disease that predominantly affects the poor and vulnerable, ending TB is not only a public health priority but also a broader global development issue.
Despite the urgent need to curb the TB epidemic, progress in reducing incidence and mortality of the disease has remained slow. There continues to be a deficit in coordination and advocacy for TB at all levels, leading to weak political commitment and a shortage of funding for TB initiatives. Combined with weak health systems in countries with the highest TB burden, this has led to 4.3 million ‘missing’ cases of TB each year, in which patients remain undiagnosed, untreated, and unregistered.
To alert the world about this outstanding emergency, the Stop TB Partnership supports and engages energetically in various campaigns and actions.