Let's Get Real: Reaching an Additional 1.5 million Missing People with TB

18 December 2017 - Geneva, Switzerland -- A new Strategic Initiative agreement signed today between the Stop TB Partnership and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will see the Partnership contribute towards reaching an additional 1.5 million people with TB by 2019 that are currently missed by health systems. The agreement is part of TB Catalytic Funding where a similar agreement was signed with WHO on 1 December, 2017. Under this collaboration, and using lessons learned from different initiatives especially TB REACH, the Stop TB Partnership will work with National TB Programs and partners in order to ensure that everyone with TB is reached with quality services and receive proper treatment and care through reducing barriers, development and scale-up of innovative tools and approaches in service delivery as well as through experience sharing.

"Our relationship with the Global Fund is a long standing one but I think now we are reaching new heights: we will work shoulder-to-shoulder with Global Fund country teams, programmes in countries and all partners in ensuring we reach our objective and find an additional 1.5 million people with TB. For too many years we keep speaking about the missing four million people with TB. We decided to challenge ourselves and do whatever it takes to change this and get closer to reaching the targets from the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020. And the beauty of it is that we will hold each other accountable for what we do and for what we don’t do. Let’s start 2018 at full speed!” said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.

Every year, 10.4 million people fall ill/get sick with TB and out this estimate, more than four million people are "missing" and are either not diagnosed or treated or receive care that is of poor quality.

The Strategic Initiative is constructed around four key interventions which will be implemented through the programmatic work under the Partnership’s Innovations and Grants team and its Country and Community Support for Impact team, together with KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam and Interactive Research and Development (IRD) in Pakistan, WHO and other partners. The key interventions include addressing barriers to find missing people with TB, the development of tools and approaches for finding missing people with TB, supporting uptake and scale-up of tools and approaches, and documentation, learning and experience sharing. Activities will be implemented through a consortium with a number of country, regional and global partners that will strengthen the work and impact on reaching the missing people with TB and building on the comparative advantages of each of them.

"Missing TB cases including drug-resistant TB are major challenges in fighting the disease, and pose a serious threat to global health security," said Marijke Wijnroks, Interim Executive Director of the Global Fund. "Only through partnership and smart investments will we achieve the global goal of ending TB as an epidemic," Dr. Wijnroks.

The TB Catalytic Investment initiative includes US$115 million in matching funds designed to support country-led programs; a US$65 million multi-country TB investment for programs focused on migrant and cross-border issues, the mining sector, refugees, improved laboratory services, and transition to domestically funded health programs; and the US$10 million TB Strategic Initiative. The 13 countries that are part of the TB Catalytic Investment initiative are Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine, Kenya, Mozambique and India.