While great strides have been made in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), it still remains one of the top ten leading causes of death globally. With the added threat of antimicrobial resistance, drug-resistant TB is becoming an increasing public health crisis. In fact, TB accounts for 30 percent of all deaths due to drug resistance.
Last week, the United States House State and Foreign Operations subcommittee proposed an increase in USAID TB funding by $41 million – bringing total funding to $302 million for FY19. This proposal came after months of lobbying from the Coalition for TB Impact – a group spearheaded by the Fund for Global Health that includes GBCHealth, Peace Corps, Johnson & Johnson, BD and other important stakeholders. Although the coalition had initially asked for an increase of $150 million, the additional funding is an important step towards saving thousands of lives. To learn more about the coalition click here.
The proposed budget increase comes before the first ever high-level meeting (HLM) on TB which will take place at the United Nations General Assembly this September. The meeting’s theme will be “United to end TB: an urgent global response to a global epidemic”. The global TB community is hoping the HLM will accelerate efforts to close gaps in TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The meeting is an unprecedented step forward for the TB community as it aims to engage a diverse group of stakeholders to strengthen action and investments to end TB for good.
photo credit: WHO