Tuberculosis, the world’s second deadliest infectious disease, affects 7.5 million people
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there is an upward trend in the fight against tuberculosis, also known as tuberculosis in society, after the Covid-19 outbreak, but accelerated work is needed to achieve new targets set in this field. It was reported that tuberculosis, which is currently the world’s second deadliest infectious disease, will be seen in 7.5 million people in 2022.
The 2023 Global Tuberculosis Report published by the World Health Organization included data from 92 countries and regions.
The report underlined that 7.5 million people were diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2022, the highest number recorded since WHO started monitoring tuberculosis globally in 1995.
The report noted that there was an improvement in the spread of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment services worldwide in 2022 after the Covid-19 outbreak, and stated that accelerated efforts are needed to achieve the new targets set in this field.
The report stated that more than 60 percent of the global decline in the number of people newly diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2020 and 2021 was linked to the decline in cases in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, while increasing tuberculosis cases in these countries in 2022 exceeded 2019 levels.
It was emphasized that while the number of deaths due to tuberculosis, including patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), was 1.4 million in 2021, this figure decreased to 1.3 million in 2022.
It was stated that disruptions in treatment due to Covid-19 between 2020 and 2022 resulted in more than half a million tuberculosis-related deaths and that tuberculosis has a fatal effect for patients with HIV.
The report underlined that progress has been made in the development of TB diagnostics, medicines and vaccines, but this is limited by the overall level of investment in this area.
STILL THE WORLD’S SECOND DEADLIEST INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN 2022
Emphasizing that global efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved more than 75 million lives since 2000, the report stated that more efforts are needed to fight tuberculosis, which remains the world’s second deadliest infectious disease in 2022.
Despite the significant improvement in the fight against tuberculosis in 2022, progress in meeting the global tuberculosis targets set in 2018 remains insufficient due to disruptions caused by the epidemic and ongoing conflicts, the report said.
The report, which stated that a 19 percent decrease in tuberculosis-related deaths was recorded from 2015 to 2022, emphasized that the WHO’s target of a 75 percent reduction in tuberculosis-related deaths by 2025 is far behind.
The report also noted that less than half of the targeted funding has been mobilized for tuberculosis services and research.
“WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE THE FINAL CHAPTER IN THE TUBERCULOSIS STORY”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was quoted in the report, recalled that for many years past generations suffered and died due to tuberculosis, and noted that what the disease is, its causes and how to prevent it are unknown.
“Today we have the knowledge and tools that our ancestors could only dream of. We have the political will and we have an opportunity that no generation in human history has ever had. We have the opportunity to write the final chapter in the tuberculosis story.”