14 days until World Tuberculosis Day 2021
600 days to achieve 2022 global TB targets
Every day is important to save more lives
The clock is ticking!
In just fourteen days, millions around the world will gather to mark World Tuberculosis Day on March 24th. The theme of World TB Day 2021 – “The clock is ticking” – conveys the feeling that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments of global leaders to stop TB. This is particularly critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to progress at the end of TB and to ensure a fair approach to prevention and care in line with the WHO’s drive to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
On World Tuberculosis Day, the WHO calls for action on several fronts to ensure that the commitments made at the end of tuberculosis are met:
- States are urged to to implement ten priority recommendations listed in 2020 a TB progress report issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and produced with the support of the WHO. The report stressed that high-level commitments and goals have spurred global and national progress in stopping TB, but urgent and more ambitious investments and actions are needed, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO encourages countries to implement the ten priority recommendations in the report to set the world on track to reach the agreed targets by 2022 and beyond.
- Basic TB services should be maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that gains made in the fight against TB are not offset. All measures should be taken to ensure continuity of services for people in need of preventive and curative TB treatment, including during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The provision of prevention, diagnostic, treatment and care services, targeted at people, including digital technologies, should be ensured together with the response to COVID-19.
- Addressing health inequalities is vital to ensuring health for all. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the deep differences that still exist between and within countries, some of which are deteriorating and risking to spread even further. People with TB are among the most marginalized and vulnerable, facing barriers to accessing care. In line with World Health Day, April 7, 2021, the WHO calls for global action to address health inequalities in people with TB and other diseases.
- Systematic screening needs to be increased to help all people who have TB prevention and care. It is estimated that about three million people with TB are not diagnosed or reported annually worldwide. Improved TB screening using new tools and approaches to reach all people carefully could help bridge this gap. Systematic screening is crucial to ensure that we can detect TB early in people who need it, while at the same time identifying people who could benefit from preventive TB treatment. WHO lets go new guidelines on systematic TB screening together with the accompanying operational guide on March 22nd.
- Ending tuberculosis requires coordinated action by all sectors provide the right services, support and provide a safe environment in the right place, at the right time. Everyone has a role to play in eliminating TB – individuals, communities, companies, governments, societies.
“We are running out of time to meet global commitments to end TB. Although we are fighting COVID-19, we must not make the fight against tuberculosis easier, but redouble our efforts to save more lives and end suffering, ”said Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the World TB Program. “We need political will and responsibility, financial resources, the involvement of all sectors and community ownership, and we need that now. The clock is ticking! “
The WHO has developed an advocacy and communication package to support awareness building and launch activities at all levels, on the eve of and on World TB Day. Please access the package below to join us in stepping up efforts to stop TB.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is organizing a special virtual show to mark World Tuberculosis Day March 24 at 13:00 Central European Time. This will put attention on TB in the midst of the current COVID crisis.
Join us for an exciting event to be held in talk-show format with video-connected speakers on the platform of WHO’s interactive web platform End TB Forum.
Keynote speakers will be WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus and other WHO senior management, health ministers and high-level government representatives, agency heads, TB survivors, civil society and partners. The show will be broadcast live, with questions and answers from the audience online.
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