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World TB Day: 36 percent of all tuberculosis deaths occur in Africa, says WHO

World TB Day: 36 percent of all tuberculosis deaths occur in Africa, says WHO
March 24
13:40 2022

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says 36 percent of all tuberculosis deaths occur in Africa.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said this in a message to commemorate world TB day 2022.

The world TB day is marked on March 24 every year to create awareness about the impact of TB and improve efforts to end its spread.

The theme for this year is ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives’.


Moeti said funding for prevention and treatment of tuberculosis has continued to fall short with governments in Africa providing only 22 percent of resources needed to deliver tuberculosis services.

“At the UN high-level meeting on TB in 2018, world leaders agreed to mobilise $13 billion per year to finance TB prevention and treatment by 2022, and promised another $2 billion per year for TB research in the face of growing concerns around drug-resistant TB,” she said.

“However, funding for TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment services continues to fall far short of estimated global needs, and the United Nations global target. In 2020, global spending on TB services fell to $5.3 billion, and funding for research was $901 million.


“While national strategic plans and accompanying budgets for tuberculosis have grown in ambition, mobilisation of funding has not kept pace. In Africa, governments contribute only 22 percent of the resources required to deliver adequate TB services, with 44 percent going unfunded, seriously impeding efforts to reduce the TB burden.”

She said the UN sustainable development goals target of ending the TB epidemic by 2030 will not be achievable at the current rate of progress.

“To reach the target, TB incidence would have had to record an annual decline of four percent to five percent in 2020, increasing to 10 per cent per year by 2025, and then to an average 17 percent annually in the following decade,” she said.

“In fact, the world saw an increase in the number of global TB deaths for the first time in over a decade in 2021. Contributing factors included reduced access to TB diagnosis and treatment, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.


“With 36 percent of all TB deaths occurring in Africa, failure to invest in the TB response is set to take a formidable toll on African countries. Increased investment can be a game-changer, and alleviate the preventable suffering and death of millions of our people.”

Moeti therefore called on governments to mobilise additional domestic financial support for TB control.


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