The World Health Organization (WHO) has voiced worry that, with Africa accounting for 36% of all tuberculosis (TB) fatalities, failing to engage in its response will have a devastating impact on African countries.
According to the organization, additional investment may be a game changer, alleviating the avoidable pain and death of millions of people.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, stated this in a statement to honor World Tuberculosis Day, which is commemorated on March 24 each year.
Moeti stated that the purpose of the day was to enhance public awareness and knowledge of one of the world’s worst infectious illnesses.
She stated that the UN High-Level World Leaders had committed to raise $13 billion per year to fund TB prevention and treatment.
According to her, the world leaders also promised another two billion dollars per year for TB research in the face of growing concerns around drug-resistant TB.
WHO regional director said the world saw an increase in the number of global TB deaths for the first time in over a decade in 2021, adding that contributing factors included reduced access to TB diagnosis and treatment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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She called on the governments to mobilise additional domestic financial support for TB control, including contributions to the Global Fund.
Moeti said the fund, in February, launched its 18-billion dollars Seventh Replenishment campaign in a bid to counter the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on the fight against TB.
“Today, I call on governments to mobilise additional domestic financial support for TB control, including contributions to the Global Fund, which last month launched its 18-billion dollars Seventh Replenishment campaign.
“This is in a bid to counter the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on the fight against TB.
“I urge all stakeholders to advocate increased investment and to ensure that TB services are integrated into the primary health care response.
“We must all also work more closely with our communities, leveraging their expert local knowledge to tailor response efforts for maximum impact,” she said.
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