Tuberculosis in decline…for the FIRST TIME EVER!

For the first time…ever…tuberculosis (TB) is on the decline according to new data published today in the WHO 2011 global tuberculosis control report. This also report shows that the number of people dying from the disease fell to its lowest level in a decade (1.4 million in 2010, after reaching 1.8 million in 2003).

Some Key Tuberculosis report findings

  • the number of people who fell ill with TB dropped to 8.8 million in 2010, after peaking at nine million in 2005;
  • TB deaths fell to 1.4 million in 2010, after reaching 1.8 million in 2003;
  • the TB death rate dropped 40% between 1990 and 2010, and all regions, except Africa, are on track to achieve a 50% decline in mortality by 2015;
  • in 2009, 87% of patients treated were cured, with 46 million people successfully treated and seven million lives saved since 1995. However, a third of estimated TB cases worldwide are not notified and therefore it is unknown whether they have been diagnosed and properly treated.

Despite this tremendous progress, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that this is by no means a time reduce funding for the TB response.

“Fewer people are dying of tuberculosis, and fewer are falling ill. This is major progress. But it is no cause for complacency…Too many millions still develop TB each year, and too many die. I urge serious and sustained support for TB prevention and care, especially for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people”.

For more details about the WHO 2011 global tuberculosis control report, read the original press release by WHO.

Tuberculosis Resources

Read the full report

2011/2012 TB Fact Sheet

Read the Global Plan to Stop TB



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Categories: Editorials and Reports, Health


2 Comments on “Tuberculosis in decline…for the FIRST TIME EVER!”

  1. October 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Does the report give any reasons why? Do you think the global fund has anything to do with it?

  2. October 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    It seems the more substantial improvements are based on domestic investments in prevention and treatment by larger countries including Brazil, China, Kenya, and Tanzania. Many smaller countries less able to invest in TB (and still largely dependent on donor funding) are still lagging in many respects.

    Technological advances including TB Rapid Testing has also been a major breakthrough with regard to early diagnosis (from 3 months to a few hours). This is still only a year or so old, however, so its benefits will likely become more apparent as the testing becomes broadly accessible.

    Its also worth noting that improved data collection mechanisms (mentioned only briefly in the document) may have produced more accurate data sets in some countries where estimates were previously higher.

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