Publication date: Oct 15, 2020
An estimated 1. 8 million people could die from tuberculosis in 2020 – numbers last seen in 2012, according to the World Health Organization’s latest global TB report.
The numbers were based on WHO’s modeling in which it estimated an additional 200,000 to 400,000 TB deaths in 2020 if the number of people with TB detected and treated falls by 25% to 50% over a three-month period.
In India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, overall reductions in the number of people diagnosed with TB were in the range of 25% to 30% when compared with the same period in 2019.
Potential reasons for the decline include people’s avoidance of health facilities, reductions in the number of health facilities offering TB diagnostic and treatment services, disruptions in the procurement and transportation of medicines and other laboratory items, movement restrictions, and loss of income.
The situation threatens to reverse progress made against TB over the years and places the world further from reaching the global targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals, and those that heads of states and government representatives committed to at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in 2018.
A report coming out next week at the 41st Union World Conference on Lung Health estimates the economic and human cost of not ending TB by 2030 will amount to some $3 trillion, said JoscE9 Luis Castro, executive director of The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.