24th March is observed as World TB Day.
Message from Dr Marcos Espinal,Executive Secretary, Stop TB Partnership
On World TB Day I salute the 553 international organizations, donors from the public and private sectors, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, civil society members and individuals that now form the Stop TB Partnership as well as countries for your incredible contributions to the fight against TB.
Tuberculosis remains a massive public health problem around the world, despite recent progress. Last year there were 8.8 million new TB cases and 1.6 million deaths from TB, many of them among people living with HIV/AIDS. And at present, XDR-TB, or extensively drug resistant tuberculosis, represents a threat to the entire world. Our best weapon is to implement the Global Plan to Stop TB, but the plan faces a funding gap of US$30 billion. Our arsenal of medicines to treat TB is more than three decades old. We need new drugs to fight this deadly scourge. And we need better diagnostic tests, especially in the face of XDR-TB, as well as new vaccines.
In the millennium year, 2000, the Stop TB Partnership was formed to realize the goal of eliminating TB as a public health problem and, ultimately, to obtain a world free of TB. This year, for the first time it appears that despite the challenges the disease is leveling off. This gain is strictly due to your combined efforts.
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