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The Union 77th World Health Assembly statement

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The fact that TB remains a global health crisis is one of the greatest injustices of our time.

It’s a disease that kills more annually than any other infectious disease – yet in many so called ‘developed’ countries, it hardly even registers as a concern. In those countries, tuberculosis (TB) was wiped out years ago, often by public health interventions including universal screening and active case finding, which enabled people with infectious TB to be identified and treated before it could be passed on to others in the community.

But today – despite great improvements in the effectiveness and accessibility of tools for detecting and treating people with TB – this strategy is still not implemented in many high-burden countries.

No more excuses. We must be brave and recognise that our current strategy to end TB is not only not achieving the results we hope for – it is an active injustice. If we are to win the fight against this infectious disease, we need to change our approach and screen everyone within high-burden countries, and finally break the chain of transmission.