New Delhi: Missing TB cases and drug-resistant TB are major challenges in fighting the disease, and pose a serious threat to global health security. Deaths from drug-resistant TB – when tuberculosis bacteria is resistant to existing medication – now account for about one-third of all antimicrobial resistance deaths worldwide.
Global health partners and implementers from 13 countries with a high burden of tuberculosis launched an ambitious program to find and treat an additional 1.5 million missing cases of TB by the end of 2019. The new initiative is critically important to stopping the spread of TB and to reaching the global goal of ending TB as an epidemic by 2030.
The new effort seeks to support a combination of innovative and targeted programs, promote better use of data and evidence and expand the most successful approaches to find more missing cases of TB. It is supported by an investment of up to US$190 million by the Global Fund.
Every year, 10.4 million people get sick with TB, an entirely preventable and curable disease. Of those individuals, 40 percent do not even receive care – they are “missed” by health systems after failing to be diagnosed, treated or reported. The result is many will die or continue to be sick and transmit the disease or, if treated with improper drugs, contribute to the growing menace of drug resistance.