Key Messages and Talking Points
- On World Tuberculosis Day, we recognize the importance of resilient systems for health to prevent, detect and respond effectively to epidemics – those we continue to battle, and new outbreaks like COVID-19.
- Microbes do not stop at national borders. An infectious disease threat anywhere is a health threat everywhere. Robust health systems are our primary line of defense.
- Every year 10 million people fall ill with tuberculosis. In 2018, 3 million people with tuberculosis were “missed” by public health systems - undiagnosed, untreated or unreported. Finding, testing and treating people with TB is key to ending the epidemic. Last year alone, the Global Fund, together with WHO and the Stop TB Partnership, found an additional 1.2 million more “missing” patients compared to 2015.
- While medical experts are still learning about COVID-19, evidence suggests that people with TB will be among the most vulnerable. TB affects many of the same people at risk of COVID-19: people with underlying autoimmune diseases or chronic respiratory illnesses and people who can’t afford or access health care.
- Tuberculosis, an airborne respiratory disease that is entirely preventable and treatable, is the world’s leading killer among infectious diseases. In 2018, TB killed 1.5 million people making it one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
- With stronger health systems, we can fight more effectively against TB, particularly drug-resistant TB. This means better case detection and screening to put more people with TB on treatment. It also means strengthening laboratory capacity and expanding GeneXpert technology, which has the potential to fight other infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Investments in robust health systems also help improve supply management of TB drugs and medical equipment, strengthen health facilities and train health workers.
- Communities play a central role in strengthening responses to TB and new outbreaks like COVID-19. They reach, educate and link people, including those who are neglected, marginalized or criminalized, to services along the entire prevention and treatment continuum. They are critical in breaking down the human rights related barriers, stigma and discrimination that keep people from the lifesaving care they deserve. Support for community systems and responses is a key component of the Global Fund’s mission.
- We must make the fight against TB and emerging health threats equitable, rights-based and people-centered. Certain populations are especially vulnerable and have significantly less access to services due to factors such as socio-economic status, harmful gender norms, stigma, discrimination and systematic disenfranchisement.
- As the world responds to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, fragile health systems make countries less able to coordinate, respond to and contain an outbreak. During the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, for example, countries with strong health systems were able to respond and contain the virus, while countries with weak health systems were quickly overrun.
- To end tuberculosis as an epidemic and fight emerging threats like COVID-19 we must renew our commitment to strengthen the systems for health that are critical for both. Strengthening health systems is a strategic pillar of the Global Fund. The Global Fund is the largest multilateral financer to strengthen systems for health, investing over US$1 billion per year, from training of health personnel, to improved supply chain and data quality, to service delivery integration.
Key results in countries where the Global Fund invests in 2018:
- 5.3 million people treated for TB
- 114,000 people on treatment for multidrug-resistant TB
- 6,771 people with extremely drug-resistant TB on treatment
- 332,000 HIV-positive people receiving antiretroviral therapy during TB treatment
- 142,740 children exposed to TB received preventive therapy
Multimedia Resources - Graphics
Social Media Messages
Today is #WorldTBDay. Every day, 4,000 people die from tuberculosis – the world’s most deadly infectious disease. #ItsTime to accelerate progress to #EndTB.
Making our world safer from health threats means strengthening health systems to prevent, detect and respond to epidemics – both those that are new and those that we continue to battle. #WorldTBDay
More than ever, we know that an infectious disease threat anywhere is a health threat everywhere. Robust systems for health are our first line of defense against epidemics. On #WorldTBDay, #ItsTime to invest in resilient and sustainable systems for health.
To #EndTB as an epidemic and fight emerging threats like #COVID19 we need to strengthen the systems for health that are critical to fighting both. #WorldTBDay
Every year 10 million people fall ill with TB and 3 million people are “missed” by public health systems - undiagnosed, untreated or unreported. Finding, testing and treating people with TB is key to ending the epidemic. #WorldTBDay
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Photo Credits: Vincent Becker, Jonas Gratzer, Joubert Loots, Sam Phelps, John Rae, Tanya Habjouqa, Mia Collis