The World Health Organization (WHO) released its 2023 Global Tuberculosis Report last week. The good news – while the death toll remains unacceptably high, we are finally back to pre-pandemic numbers, which means things are getting better. There’s also been a significant worldwide recovery of TB diagnosis and treatment services in 2022 after disruptions caused by COVID-19 on TB services. The report shows that 7.5 million people were diagnosed with TB in 2022, making it the highest figure recorded since WHO began global TB monitoring in 1995. This is actually great news because in order to end TB, we must first find TB, and these statistics mean that fewer people are falling through the cracks and getting diagnosed. .
The bad news – despite the positive trends, the world is severely off track from meeting TB elimination targets and TB remains a leading global cause of death. In 2022 alone, an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.3 million people died.
Urgent action is required to scale up TB elimination efforts, including ensuring sustained funding for research and development, which remains underfunded. We continue to call on Canada to meet its fair share contribution by allocating 0.15% of its total research expenditure to TB.
Canada missed its opportunity to announce this funding at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB this September but can still step up to support scientific innovation. This funding would support the development of new tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat TB – improving the quality of care for the millions of people affected by this disease.
Join us in following up on our #YesWeCanEndTB campaign by adding your name to our letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. The letter expresses our disappointment in Canada’s engagement at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB and calls for further action in the fight to end TB. Sign on here!
Learn more about our #YesWeCanEndTB campaign here.