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ATS Participates in UN TB Meeting

In September, ATS members and staff attended a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis to develop new targets for the next five years to advance global TB eradication efforts.  The targets include reaching 90% of people with TB prevention and care services, using a WHO-recommended rapid test as the first method of diagnosing TB; providing social benefit packages to all people with TB; licensing at least one new TB vaccine; and closing funding gaps for TB implementation and research by 2027. 

According to the World Health Organization, though the United Nations General Assembly’s targets set in 2018 for a five-year period saved over 75 million lives since 2000, U.N. efforts fell short of reaching the WHO’s targets.  This was due to severe disruptions to TB services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts. As a result of COVID-19 disruptions and several, ongoing miliary conflicts, only 34 million people of the intended 40 million people with TB were reached with treatment between 2018 and 2022.

The ATS’s involvement in the UN TB meeting is a continuation of society’s historical commitment to TB control. 

“In spite of effective diagnostics and therapeutics, TB remains the leading cause of infectious disease mortality,” notes David Lewinsohn MD, past chair of the ATS International Lung Health Committee.    “The ambition reflected in the Political Declaration recognizes the potential to End TB through the aggressive use of both existing and new technologies.  The Political Declaration is most welcome, and it is now our responsibility to ensure that the Declaration is followed by commitment and the sense of urgency that this disease deserves.”

Last Reviewed: October 2023