One of the greatest barriers to eliminating TB has nothing to do with germs or medicine or technology. It has to do with money. Even though TB has killed well over 10 million people in the last decade, the world is somehow failing to invest the resources necessary to stop it.
Since TB is, in almost every case, a treatable illness, the question must be asked, why are so many people being left to die? One reason is that, relative to other major diseases, TB does not have a large and influential enough public movement of people behind it, working together, to mobilise resources.
At the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, executives of the world’s largest global health funding organisations and members of communities impacted by TB met for a high-level dialogue sponsored by the Stop TB Partnership on Thursday, 30 October. Participants included Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, South Africa and Dr Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the event was chaired by Andrew Jack of the Financial Times. The discussion focused on the urgent need for a stronger and more organised movement dedicated to finding and investing the resources needed to eliminate TB within a generation.