TB is a treatable and preventable disease, however, it remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. We cannot defeat TB without the support of civil society. TBEC exists to coordinate responses from civil society in the WHO Europe Region.

If you would like to take action on TB, please see some of our recent activities below for ways to get involved.


TBEC aims not only to promote overall understanding of the affected communities and civil society’s role in TB response, but also identify the overarching thematic priorities TBEC should focus on its advocacy efforts and activities. According to TBEC Strategy 2017-2021, TBEC has identified three overarching thematic priorities for the region – domestic financing, people-centred TB policies and TB R&D and equity in access to existing TB tools.

As the economies of the region are growing, many countries in the WHO Europe region are gradually becoming ineligible for donor support to national health systems. However, increases in GDP are often not accompanied by an increase in health spending, as a result TB and HIV programmes and services targeting vulnerable groups and key affected populations can experience a dramatic decrease in financial support. There is  a substantiated worry that that the progress made so far in the TB and HIV response will be lost due to a lack of political will and financial commitment. TBEC aims to address the issue by carrying out advocacy activities towards the Global Fund, the EU, and WHO among to either prevent or lessen the impact of a poorly planned and timed transition and, by providing information on the latest funding opportunities available to civil society in the region.

To learn more about funding opportunities in the region, please read our brief.

To learn more about transition period in the region, please read our brief.

Traditionally, individuals with TB in many Eastern European and Central Asian countries with a high TB burden have been routinely treated in hospital on an inpatient basis for long periods. This is often unnecessary. In most cases, ambulatory TB treatment delivers similar or better treatment outcomes. However, simply shifting from hospital-based to ambulatory care is not going to improve treatment outcomes overnight. TBEC believes that in order to have successful, quality, people centred care in ambulatory setting, TB treatment needs to be integrated into primary health care. Referral systems between health, social and community care providers must be strengthened and engage civil society and community organisations in all aspects of these activities ranging from advocacy to service provision.

To learn more about people-centred care, please read our brief.

TBEC believes that there is an overwhelming need for the accelerated uptake of existing tools and for the development of new ones if TB is to end this century. Current estimates show that without new tools to fight TB, after 2025 existing tools will be exhausted. The field of research and development of new TB drugs, diagnostics and vaccines has suffered from a chronic lack of investment, resulting in an alarmingly bare pipeline of promising compounds and drugs. Prioritising new tools to end TB would have a major public health impact and provide a rapid return on investment. TBEC aims to increase advocacy efforts in favour of R&D in TB at relevant international and regional forums such as G20 and the EU.

To learn more, please read our brief.


We are keen to increase awareness and understanding of TB so have answered a few common questions below. If you want more information, do not hesitate to contact us.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by bacteria that can affect almost any part of the body but most often attack the lungs. Like the common cold, TB is spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, laughs or even sings.
When exposed to TB, most healthy people are able to fight the bacteria by sealing it off within the body, usually the lungs. These people have latent TB where they do not feel sick and cannot spread the bacteria to others. However, in some cases, the bacteria continue to multiply and make the person sick with active TB. A person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year. If not treated properly, active TB can be fatal.

TB symptoms vary depending on which part of the body is infected. Symptoms for pulmonary TB, the most common form of TB, include a cough lasting for more than two weeks, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, night sweats, weight loss, loss of appetite and extreme fatigue.
It is estimated that roughly 2 billion people, equal to one-third of the world’s total population, are infected with latent TB. One in every 10 of those with latent TB will become sick with active TB in his or her lifetime.
Although a preventable and treatable disease, in 2015 there were an estimated 10.4 million TB cases and TB killed 1.4 million people. Moreover, TB is among the greatest causes of death among women. There were an estimated 510 000 TB deaths among women as well as 80,000 deaths among children in 2013.
In the WHO European Region, there were an estimated 323 000 new TB cases in 2015, including 32 000 people who died from the disease.
Although anyone can catch TB, it affects mainly young adults in Eastern Europe and migrants and the elderly in Western Europe. TB is also linked to social determinants such as migration, imprisonment and social marginalisation.
The WHO European Region consists of 53 countries, including all countries of the European Union as well as former USSR states such as Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and Israel. TB causes 49 new cases and kills 7 people every hour in Europe alone. Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major public health issue in the WHO European Region. According to the latest estimates, about 323 000 new TB cases and 32 000 deaths were reported in the Region in 2015, mostly from Eastern and Central European countries. TBEC works in the WHO Europe region to support civil society to change this situation – find out more about our work here.
The Region has the world’s highest rate of MDR-TB among new cases (16%) and previously treated cases (48%). Of the 30 countries in the world with a high burden of MDR-TB, 9 are in the Region. In 2015, over 2000 cases of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) were detected in MDR-TB patients, meaning one in four MDR-TB patients has XDR-TB.
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the disintegration of healthcare services in many of the countries in the European region, which disrupted TB control. Although the European region comprises a relatively small percentage of total TB cases in the world (3 percent of the global estimated number of cases in 2015 occurred in the European region) and has a lower incidence, prevalence and mortality from TB than Africa or Asia, the European region accounts for nearly a quarter of the burden of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in the world. A similar comparison can be seen between fans and cialis levitra pills.
The economic burden that TB causes in the region is also significant. MDR-TB treatment in the EU costs around 5 to 8 times more than treatment for standard TB. It is conservatively estimated that the economic cost of TB in the EU amounts to €5.9 billion per year.
  • In 2007, health ministers from across Europe adopted the Berlin Declaration on Tuberculosis. Member countries committed themselves to provide political will and resources to combat TB. Governments also committed to greater community engagement, which is integral to any response to TB. However, since 2007 insufficient progress has been made, and member countries have yet to develop a framework to implement and monitor the commitments they agreed to.
  • The Plan to Stop TB in 18 High Priority Countries in the WHO European Region 2007–2015(2007) describes the main challenges, strategies and interventions to control TB in the 18 high priority countries in the European Region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Plan is intended to be a guide for the high priority countries to use in developing their own long and short term national plans on TB and as a reference for the WHO Regional Office for Europe and all other partners involved in fighting TB.
  • The EU predominantly funds TB research through its Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. The EU has the responsibility to ensure that the next Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, provides sufficient budget for research and development for neglected and poverty related diseases, including MDR-TB and paediatric TB.
  • The EU’s Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis aims to address globally the existing funding shortfall in order to meet MDG 6. However, progress has been limited. There has been a lack of large scale collective action at both national and international levels. This programme should continue after 2012 with better operational indicators and an integrated response to scale up impact. Strong EU intervention is essential to make inroads in the fight against TB.
  • The ECDC Framework Action Plan to Fight TB in the European Region (2008) aims to evaluate the current situation in the Region and to develop a unified EU approach to the fight against TB and MDR-TB. It is based on four core principles, one of which includes building partnership and international collaboration. A detailed roadmap of activities to be put forward at the community level is yet to be completed.
  • In September 2011, the WHO released its Consolidated Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Multidrug and Extensively Drug- Resistant Tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB) in the WHO European Region 2011–2015. This Action Plan provides a unique opportunity for European nations to strengthen and intensify efforts to address the alarming problem of drug-resistant TB in the region. Governments must urgently develop and implement national DR-TB plans and ensure that implementation is centred around a community and human rights-based approach for treatment and support.