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Union response to WHO Global TB Report 2022

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The Union’s response to the World Health Organization Global TB Report 2020, from President and Interim Executive Director Prof Guy Marks.

“The increase in tuberculosis (TB) cases and deaths for the second year in a row is alarming news. There are too many people with TB who are not being diagnosed and treated, and who continue to pass the disease to others in their families, workplaces and communities. This sustains the epidemic of TB.

“Now, with the 2030 and 2035 deadlines for achieving the End TB targets fast approaching, we are faced with a choice: either abandon (or substantially modify) the goal or revise and reinforce the strategy.

“We need to break this chain of transmission in countries with a high burden of TB, where everyone is at risk of developing TB, everywhere, all the time. We need to find all people with TB, not only for the benefit of those with TB, but also to protect others in the community who are being infected and then develop TB themselves.

“Since many people with TB don’t have symptoms, we can’t wait for them to come to “us” (health facilities), we need to go out and find them, using modern tests that are rapid, safe and sensitive. It represents a big change from the current model of care and will take time and resources to implement fully. However, we need to start somewhere: in high burden settings in high burden countries.

“It is only by finding and effectively treating all people with infectious forms of TB that we can break the chain of transmission and finally end this thing!”

In September 2022, The Union set out its 2022-2027 vision, objectives and strategy to end TB. This can only be achieved collectively, with all of our members, partners and TB community – everyone has a role to play.