A Massive Setback for Tuberculosis

New Global Tuberculosis Report out.

On October 14th, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed in a new report that the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed decades of progress towards eradicating tuberculosis (TB). This only confirms what many experts have been fearing.

According to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2021, which includes data from more than 200 countries, approximately 1.5 million people died from TB in 2020, up from 1.4 million in 2019. It's the first increase in global TB deaths in more than a decade according to the WHO. 

Newly diagnosed and reported TB cases were 5.8 million in 2020 (versus 7.1 million in 2019). That means we have regressed back to the level of 2012. With an expected 10 million cases, 42% are missed in 2020 which is a very high proportion. The number of TB deaths were 1.3 million among HIV-negative individuals (versus 1.2 million in 2019), 214,000 among HIV-positives (versus 209,000 in 2019), back to levels of 2017.

The report presents the tragic reality that shows we did not reach the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB targets by the end of 2020, with only 50% of the people with TB treated in all age groups and only 41% percent of children treated between 2018 and 2020. This is heavily due to the fact that the already underfunded TB response saw a further decline in funding in low- and middle-income countries in 2020, with less than half of the global target of US$ 13 billion in annual funding by 2022 available. In order to get back on track to  to end TB by 2030 the world will need to double the current funding available for TB. 

Positive developments that impact the countries APOPO works in:

  • Ethiopia and Tanzania are among the 86 countries who reached the milestone of a 20% reduction in the TB incidence rate between 2015 and 2020.
  • Mozambique and Tanzania are among the 33 countries that achieved the 2020 milestone of a 35% reduction in the absolute number of TB deaths between 2015 and 2020.

Negative developments for the countries APOPO works in:

  • Mozambique is among the 10 countries listed in all three categories high-burden TB, high HIV-associated TB and high drug resistance TB
  • Tanzania and Ethiopia are among the 22 countries listed as high burden TB and high HIV-associated TB

 

Download the full report: