September 2020 marks 5 years since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were first established, and the start of the Decade of Action. The SDGs are the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were a first attempt to use global targets to capture and advance shared interests across nations, in a more just, peaceful, and prosperous world. The SDGs represent the global commitment to end poverty, promote health and wellbeing, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

This years’ Global Goals Week is an opportunity for renewed ambition, mobilization, leadership, and collective action: to beat COVID-19 and recover better together to create more inclusive and equitable societies everywhere. This year’s theme focuses on ‘Factivism’ and the importance of timely, robust, reliable data, and consolidated action. TBEC believes that ensuring that accurate, reliable, and transparent data is publicly available, is essential to TB advocacy and key to achieving the targets set out in the End TB Strategy. Global Goals Week also represents an opportunity to promote the importance of evidence-based policy decisions, actions, and interventions, which are essential to tackling TB. 

The Decade of Action calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges, ranging from poverty and health to climate change, and closing the finance gap. With only 10 years left to achieve targets set out in the SDGs, not enough progress has been made, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to further hinder progress. Achieving these targets is a huge challenge and the current prediction is that the global effort to tackle TB will be set back at least 5 years. The impact of COVID-19 will see an increase in deaths caused by TB. TB case detection has decreased by 25% in most countries within three months of lockdown compared to the level of detection before COVID-19. It is predicted that there will be around 190,000 additional, unreported TB deaths in 2020 (which constitutes a 13% increase) bringing the total TB mortality to 1.66 million deaths, which is near the global level of mortality in 2015. For more information please click here.

The Coronavirus pandemic has also drawn attention to the importance of global standards of public health and consolidated action to strengthen healthcare systems. Global Goals Day highlights the need for continued efforts and collaboration to focus on TB research and development so that improved prevention, diagnostics, treatment, and care services can be developed, as well as improving the accessibility of these services. Only through international cooperation and collaboration can we successfully reduce the number of TB cases worldwide and improve the quality of, and access to, TB treatment and care services, getting us close to the goal of ending the TB epidemic.  

TBEC is committed to achieving global TB targets. TBEC aims to foster cooperation and support civil society within the WHO Europe Region to increase political will to end TB, and advocate for the highest possible standards of care, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Click here for more information about Global Goals Day and the Decade of Action.

2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the UN has launched the largest global conversation on the role of international cooperation in building a better and more sustainable future. For more information please click here