Up to 400.000
US$ 3 billion
funding gap per year
Source: WHO Global TB report 2012
Despite recent progress, tuberculosis (TB) remains an important global public health problem. One-third of the world's population is currently infected with the tubercle bacillus that causes TB; and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 9.4 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths from TB in 2009.
Although TB is curable, inadequate TB control is one of the factors that has led to an increase in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), a particularly dangerous form of the disease, which is potentially incurable in many settings. MDR-TB is defined as disease caused by TB bacilli resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. Rates of MDR-TB are high in some countries and, coupled with the devastating effects of TB/HIV co-infection, threaten to undermine TB control efforts worldwide.
The Union has been a leader in tuberculosis prevention, control and treatment since it was founded in 1920 as the International Union Against Tuberculosis. It is mostly widely known for the research that led to the directly observed treatment, short course (DOTS) strategy, endorsed by the WHO and used to treat more than 37 million TB patients around the world.