[Volunteer Voices] Canada must step up to end TB

Par : Voix des bénévoles Publié le 18/04/2024

By: Can Atacan (Results Fellow) & Tannia Vijeyenthiran (Results Fellow)

Tuberculosis (TB) affects over 10 million people, including more than 1 million children worldwide. It is the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19 globally, killing more than 1 million people annually. TB endures due to inadequate health services and vaccines, poor living conditions, malnutrition, and increasing drug resistance. Recently developed TB drugs are overpriced, making them unaffordable for disadvantaged communities. The BCG vaccine for TB prevents only half of all infections, necessitating a new vaccine.

A global effort to increase the funding needed to improve the detection, prevention, and treatment of TB is underway, with a global target of US$13 billion agreed upon at the 2018 UN high-level meeting on TB. To meet this target, Canada must spend its fair share on TB — 0.15% of its research and development (R&D) budget, or CAD$50 million. As of March 2024, Canada has never spent its fair share. With this failure, TB continues to plague marginalized communities worldwide, including many Indigenous communities in Canada.

Change is still possible. Canada must end TB by allocating CAD$50 million annually in TB R&D investments. As a world leader, Canada can ensure children worldwide have a fulfilling childhood, without TB.

Volunteer Voices articles are penned by Results Canada volunteers, fellows, and staff. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Résultats Canada. Click ici for more Volunteer Voices articles and learn how you can submit your letter to the editor (LTE) or op-ed.

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