WHO urges investments for scale up of tuberculosis screening and preventive treatment

18 March 2024 | News

2024 World Tuberculosis Day is being commemorated under the theme 'Yes! We can end TB!'

Ahead of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, which is marked on 24 March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released an investment case for TB screening and preventive treatment. A modelling study developed with Governments of four countries - Brazil, Georgia, Kenya and South Africa - highlights the impact to be achieved from expanding TB screening and preventive treatment.

The analysis shows that modest investments could lead to significant health and economic benefits in all four countries, with a return on investment up to $39 gained for every dollar invested. The investment case has been released to support countries in advocating for and allocating increased resources to scale-up TB screening and preventive treatment towards reaching new targets committed by Heads of State at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB.

While global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 75 million lives since the year 2000, TB causes 1.3 million deaths each year and affects millions more, with enormous impacts on families and communities.

“The investment case outlines the health and economic rationale for investing in evidence-based, WHO-recommended interventions on TB screening and prevention that can contribute to advancing universal health coverage,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Today, we have the knowledge, tools and political commitment that can end this millennia-old disease that remains one of the world’s top infectious killers”.

According to the investment report, implementing TB screening plus preventive treatment can substantially reduce TB incidence and mortality. It argues that these crucial public health investments are essential for addressing the needs of vulnerable populations and achieving the End TB targets.



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