GTBC ReportNew research conducted by KPMG for the Global TB Caucus, which works closely with TBEC in Europe, also estimated that the disease cost the global economy over USD $600 billion from 2000-2015. Nick Herbert, the British MP who co-chairs the Global TB Caucus, said that the report was not a doomsday scenario or scaremongering, but rather “the simple and predictable cost of the world’s failure to tackle this curable disease.”

“TB was declared a global health emergency in 1993, since when close to 50 million people have died from the disease. Another 28 million will die within 15 years, by which time TB should be eliminated according to the Sustainable Development Goal target. At the current rate of progress that will actually take ten times as long to meet, and the dreadful toll will be economic as well as human.”

“There are a lot of intractable problems in the world but TB should not be one of them – we can treat and cure it,” said Mr Herbert. “Governments around the world want to boost economic growth, and investments in TB care and prevention will not only dramatically improve the health of their populations, but also yield a major economic dividend.”

The economic calculations are built on figures from the WHO’s Global TB Programme predicting the future of the epidemic if current progress is maintained. They estimate that 28 million people will die from the disease from 2015-2030, despite world leaders agreeing in 2015 to target the end of TB as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the current rate of progress, that target will be missed by over 150 years.

A Global Ministerial Conference on TB will take place later this week in Moscow and is considered an important milestone to a High-Level Meeting on TB which will take place at the United Nations in New York in 2018.

“The Global Ministerial Conference is hugely significant, but the High-Level Meeting will determine the future of the global TB epidemic,” said Mr Herbert. “If next year’s meeting is a success it could transform the response to the disease, but what will be needed is action, not just words. We’ve had all the global declarations TB needs. Now we actually need to beat it.”

Read the full report here.


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