Tuberculosis is not just a threat to developing countries; nearly every single country in the world has some reported incidence of the disease. This airborne disease doesn't respect national boundaries or discriminate by class, gender or ethnicity. As the old saying goes 'TB anywhere is TB everywhere'.
The UK is no more protected against TB than any other country and, in fact, rates of the disease have been rising here year on year since the mid 1970's. With over 9000 new cases of the disease every year, the UK has been described as 'the TB capital of Western Europe'.
Currently the UK does some great work on combating TB around the globe, providing funding to major organisations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; but the response to TB in the UK has been fractured and incoherent. We cannot hope to end this disease around the world if we aren't putting the resources into tackling it here in the UK.
Other major disease -HIV/AIDS for example- have 'National Strategies' in place to coordinate and mobilise action across government, the NHS etc. for reducing incidence rates and preventable deaths. No such strategy exists for TB.
This month we are calling on the UK to bring one forward so we can develop a proper response to this global killer.