The 75th session of the World Health Assembly takes place this week in Geneva. The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) is encouraged to see tuberculosis (TB) research and innovation on the agenda, as we believes the only way to end TB is to nurture an environment where evidence-based innovation can flourish.
We have made great strides towards eliminating TB, because of our commitment to research and innovation. However, we must continue to advance our knowledge through research and implement it into policy and practice.
While COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on TB – with deaths increasing for the first time in over a decade – we were already off track to achieve the targets set at the United Nations high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis in 2018.
Therefore, world leaders must do more to ensure they keep their promises, by investing in the development and rapid uptake of evidence-based tools and strategies, such as community-wide active case finding and contact investigation in high-burden countries.
As we did on World TB Day 2022, The Union is calling on the TB community to challenge ourselves to think differently, champion science and embrace evidence-based innovation.
For The Union, this means:
- Prioritising the active identification and treatment of everyone with TB to prevent transmission
- Using the latest digital communications, imaging and diagnostic tools at our disposal
- Undertaking clinical, public health and operational research to create knowledge for action
- Involving communities and motivating them to embrace the concept of eliminating TB
- Challenging TB inequity globally
We look forward to the 75th session of the World Health Assembly and learning how world leaders are going to act on their commit to TB research and innovation.