In response to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Report 2021, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) published the following statement.
"COVID-19 vaccine inequity and the failure to come up with a vaccine for tuberculosis are two sides of the same coin - a devaluation of human life in poor countries," said Professor Guy Marks, President of The Union.
"Until COVID-19 came along, TB was killing more people than any other infectious disease but you´d never know it. If we had spent a fraction of the energy and money that governments and pharma have spent developing COVID-19 vaccines and then getting them to wealthy countries, we´d have stopped TB in its tracks long ago.
"Instead, these devastating mortality numbers from the WHO Global TB Report indicate TB will return to being the biggest killer sooner than later. And that is a preventable tragedy. "
At its 52nd World Lung Health Conference on Lung Health next week, The Union will announce some major news around TB transmission pathways, new testing devices and new treatment solutions for adolescents, children with pneumonia and adults with drug resistant TB."