HomeWashington Letter2018 ▶ WHO TB Report Sets Stage for Historic U.N. Meeting on TB
WHO TB Report Sets Stage for Historic U.N. Meeting on TB

This week, the World Health Organization (WHO), released its 2017 tuberculosis (TB) surveillance report.  This important report detailing the global morbidity and mortality burden of TB was released one week before the first-ever United Nations High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis on Sept. 26, 2018 in New York.

The WHO report finds that although TB deaths declined from 1.7 million in 2016 to 1.6 million in 2017, for the fourth year in a row TB remains the leading global infectious killer and the world is not on track to meet global targets for ending TB by 2030. Key findings are:

  • The number of new TB cases is falling by 2 percent per year, although faster reductions have occurred in Europe (5 percent per year) and Africa (4 percent per year) between 2013 and 2017.
  • Globally, 3.6 million people with the disease are still being “missed,” and do not receive treatment for the disease.
  • Drug resistant TB is a public health crisis, with only about one in four cases of drug resistant TB being detected and treated.
  • Less than      half of children estimated to have TB were reported in 2017.

 Progress against TB will not be achieved without a multi-pronged and sustained campaign involving both public and private health care sectors and program funding to improve TB detection, treatment and prevention efforts as well as for research focused on development and implementation of new tools. Next week’s U.N. High Level meeting on TB is expected to secure key country commitments for accelerating progress against TB. The U.S. delegation to the meeting will be led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Agency for International Development Director Mark Green and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Ambassador Deborah Birx.

Last Reviewed: September 21, 2018