TB, often thought to be a disease of the past, is currently one of the world’s biggest health crises.
TB is a highly infectious and deadly disease that is easily spread. Close to 95% of people with TB live in lower income countries, with the largest numbers living in Asia and Africa. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) best estimate is that 10 million people developed TB in 2017 of whom 1 million were children. In the same year WHO estimated there were 1.3 million deaths caused by TB. In addition, it has been determined that about 1.7 billion people, 23% of the world’s population, have latent TB infection and are therefore at risk of developing active TB disease during their lifetime. Despite these grim statistics, the truth is that TB is both curable and preventable.
On September 28, 2018 the United Nations (UN) convened a High Level Meeting (HLM) on TB inviting Heads of States to find the will and the means to end the global TB epidemic by 2030. GRAN actively encouraged Prime Minister Trudeau to attend this meeting. He did not participate, but Canada was well represented by Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, senior Public Health officials, representatives of Results Canada and more. While this High Level meeting increased awareness of the global TB epidemic, global progress is slow and clear actions still need to be better defined and acted upon – particularly with regard to developing new tools for improving TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment, all of which will require increased funding through the Global Fund, as well as continued support for the Stop TB Partnership and the federal government's partnership with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
To learn more about this issue, here are some helpful websites: