The UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Tuberculosis will take place today at the United Nations in New York. This will be the UN General Assembly’s first-ever meeting to accelerate efforts against this disease. The ATS calls on all countries, including the United States, to commit to ending TB at this historic meeting, which includes commitments to significantly increase funding for TB detection, treatment and prevention program and accelerating research and development into new TB diagnostic, treatment and prevention tools.
- TB is preventable and curable, yet it remains the world’s most common infectious disease killer.
- Childhood TB remains an uncontrolled epidemic. An estimated one million children fall with TB annually but only one in three children with TB is diagnosed, much less treated.
- Despite its prevalence, TB continues to be chronically under-funded. The WHO estimates that research and development budgets for TB currently have a funding gap of US$1.2 billion per year.
- For TB to be eradicated, it is essential that countries, including the U.S., commit to ambitious targets for accelerating global progress against TB, including funding for TB programs and research and development.
Today’s UN meeting is the first-ever HLM dedicated to TB. The main outcome of the HLM is a Ministerial Political Declaration which has been negotiated by representatives of the Member States.
“Today, we have the opportunity to end TB, the world’s leading infectious killer. Let’s hope that all country governments, including the United States, seize this historic opportunity and put us on the path to ending TB, once and for all” said Dr. Schraufnagel, who is also executive director of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies.
Experts: Dean Schraufnagel, MD, is an international tuberculosis expert, who has served on the board of directors of the Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
David Lewinsohn, MD, PhD, led the committee that developed the 2016 ATS, IDSA and CDC clinical practice guidelines on the diagnosis of tuberculosis in adults and children.