World leaders vow $15bn funding boost for TB fight

27 Sep 18

World leaders have pledged to give $15bn a year by 2022 to fund tuberculosis prevention and care programme.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 26 September, heads of state and government committed to ensuring that 40 million people with TB would receive the care needed by the end of 2022.

They agreed to mobilise $13bn a year by then as well as $2bn for research, as well taking action against drug resistant forms of the disease.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said the meeting was a “landmark in the long war” on the disease.

He said: “These are bold promises – to keep them in partnership is vital.”

TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease. It killed 1.6 million people in 2017, including 300 000 people with HIV. In the same year, 10 million people fell ill with the disease.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, president of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, said: “The political declaration proposed for this meeting sets a roadmap for accelerated action to end TB in line with the vision and targets for 2030.

“We have before us the opportunity for a clear win – a chance to save the lives of millions, to preserve billions in resources, to demonstrate the success of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to reaffirm the utility, efficacy and necessity of multilateralism and the UN System. Let us not miss this opportunity.”

The UK announced a new £7.5m aid package to support the TB Alliance, a non-profit organisation, to it develop shorter, simpler and more affordable TB treatments.

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt said at the meeting: “Tuberculosis is the biggest killer among infectious diseases globally.

“UK aid will develop three new TB drugs, which offer quicker-acting treatments for the millions of people affected by drug-resistant TB each year.”

 

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