NEW YORK, 27 September 2018: Yesterday, world leaders met for the first-ever UN High Level Meeting on tuberculosis to commit to ending the world's deadliest infectious disease. In the resulting political declaration, member states have committed to treat 40 million people with TB by 2022 and ensure sufficient funding for both TB programmes and R&D, closing annual funding gaps of USD 2.3 billion and USD 1.3 billion respectively. This is the first time the disease has garnered this level of global political attention.
Speaking from the UN in New York, Aaron Oxley, Executive Director at RESULTS UK said:
“Seeing world leaders step up to the podium, commit to the political declaration, and speak powerfully about ending TB has been a long time coming. But if we are going to defeat the disease for good, governments, including the UK, must now deliver on their promises. For the millions of people affected by TB, a single meeting is not enough."
"The strength of this political declaration is in the specificity of its commitments. It’s now on us to hold governments accountable for delivering on them – from the community clinic, to national parliaments, and with independent review on the global stage of the UN."
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt represented the UK Government at the meeting and announced that the UK would provide £7.5 million of new money to the TB Alliance to further the development of three new TB drugs, as well as announcing research breakthroughs coming from Oxford University.
Janika Hauser, RESULTS UK Parliamentary Officer for TB, said:
“The UK has a long history of leadership in the fight against TB. Home to the first clinical trials to prove TB was curable, UK research institutions continue to be at the forefront of the innovations that will change the way we prevent, diagnose and treat TB. At the same time, our investment in the Global Fund creates a lifeline for millions who would otherwise have no access to the care they so desperately need.
Over the last few months, there’s been unprecedented support for the UK stepping up its efforts, with parliamentarians, academics and activists from across the political spectrum calling on the Prime Minister to increase our investment and our political leadership to be in line with the scale of this epidemic. By committing an additional £7.5 million for TB R&D, the UK Government has taken an important step towards delivering on their commitments in the UN High-Level Meeting on TB political declaration.”
Tuberculosis and the UN High-Level Meeting
- TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease and the only drug-resistant disease spread through the air. For the fourth year in a row, TB remains the world’s single largest infectious killer, with 1.6 million deaths in 2017. TB kills more people each year than HIV and malaria combined. In 2017, 940,000 people died of AIDS-related causes, which included 300,000 TB deaths among HIV-positive people, and malaria killed 445,000 people.
- Currently, more than one in three people with TB are “missing” because they are either undiagnosed or unreported. That’s 3.6 million cases of TB where the quality of care — if there was care at all — is simply unknown. In the case of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), a majority of cases (71 percent) are undiagnosed or unreported.
- The political declaration, which was signed by all UN Member States, commits to the following:
- providing diagnosis and treatment with the aim of successfully treating 40 million people with TB from 2018 to 2022;
- mobilising sufficient and sustainable financing for universal access to quality TB services, with the aim of increasing global investments to at least US$13 billion per year by 2022; and
- ensuring all countries contribute to TB R&D and increase global investments to $2 billion per year.
RESULTS is a movement of passionate, committed, everyday people. Together we use our voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to extreme poverty. We have been campaigning around the transition of aid relationships for the past two years.
If you have any questions or if you’d like to arrange an interview with Aaron Oxley, please contact Tom Maguire at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 20 77933970.