HomeWashington Letter2014 ▶ WHO Releases Global TB Surveillance Report
WHO Releases Global TB Surveillance Report

October 2014

This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its Global Tuberculosis Report 2014. The report finds that due to better disease surveillance and reporting, there are almost half a million more TB cases globally than previously estimated and deaths from the disease have increased from 1.3 million in 2012 to 1.5 million in 2013. Despite these numbers, however, the WHO emphasized that the mortality rate from TB has fallen by 45 percent since 1990 and that the incidence of TB has also declined by about 1.5 percent. The report provides surveillance data from over 200 countries and data on the status of global efforts in implementing and financing TB prevention, care and control.

According to the report, the estimate of new multidrug resistant (MDR) TB cases is unchanged from 2012, at 480,000 globally, representing 3.5 percent of all TB cases. Although there has been a significant increase in the number of MDR cases being diagnosed, due to improved diagnostic capacity, the global treatment success rate lags at 48% percent.

Other key challenges to halting the TB pandemic highlighted by the report include:

  • Three million people with TB are still being "missed," that is not diagnosed or treated
  • The HIV-TB co-epidemic – 1.1 million people have HIV-TB co-infection
  • A $2 billion shortfall in funding for global TB control and research and development

In a statement welcoming the WHO report, ATS Past President Dean Schraufnagel, M.D., said, "The ATS reiterated its call to the international community to fully fund TB control and research and development programs. In its report, the WHO describes insufficient funding as one of the obstacles to battling TB. This includes the urgent need to develop new diagnostic, treatment and prevention tools. We urge Congress and the President to strengthen U.S. leadership on global and domestic TB control through appropriate funding for TB programs at the CDC, USAID and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We simply must step up our efforts to combat TB, the second leading global infectious disease killer."

Last Reviewed: October 2017