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New global effort launched to end TB by 2030 – WHO

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World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ministerial Conference “Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response” was held on 16th and 17th November, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. During this conference, delegates from 114 countries agreed to take urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030.

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease which affects the lung and is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB).

  • Cough, fever, weight loss and night sweats are typical symptoms of TB. It is an airborne disease i.e. transmitted through air.
  • Every year 24thMarch is observed as ‘World Tuberculosis Day’across the world.

Highlights of WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis:

New global effort launched to end TB by 2030 - WHODuring the conference, the delegates promised to strengthen health systems in their respective countries and improve mass access to TB prevention and care.

  • In a bid to close gaps in implementation of programmes to combat TB and carry out related research, delegates agreed to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through domestic and international investments.
  • Enhanced resources allocation will provide a boost to research and development of new tools to diagnose, treat and prevent TB.
  • Over 1000 participants, who attended the conference, also promised to minimize the risk and spread of drug resistance and to gear their efforts for engaging people and communities affected by TB and those who are at risk of TB.

Ongoing Global Efforts to Combat TB:

  • Since 2000, an estimated 53 million lives have been saved on account of global efforts to combat TB. Besides, the TB mortality rate has also dropped by 37 per cent.
  • However, progress in many countries has lost momentum and still there is lot of ground to be covered for achieving the global targets
  • It is to be noted that TB kills more people than any other infectious disease. Due to its antimicrobial resistance, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is the leading killer of people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).