Report shows TB will not be eliminated for 150 years without greater global effort

A report commissioned by the Global TB Caucus, The Price of a Pandemic 2017 (PDF 810 KB), shows that unless progress is accelerated, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 will not be reached for 150 years.

The report which was produced by KPMG based on figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), calculates the cost of TB to the global economy in the 15 years between 2015 and 2030 as $983bn, and predicts that 28 million more people will die in this time if ‘business as usual’ continues.

The report was launched ahead of the recent Global Ministerial Meeting on Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era, held in Moscow, Russia, on 16-17 November, at which 75 ministers from around the world signed a declaration and reaffirmed their commitment to end the TB epidemic by 2030.  

Mario Raviglione, who will retire as director of WHO's Global TB Programme on Nov 30, described the Moscow meeting as “by far the largest event in the history of the tuberculosis response”.

“We have created the momentum that we need to proceed to next year's UN General Assembly meeting on TB”, he said. The report describes the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on TB as ‘a once in a generation opportunity to transform the fight against TB.’  

The Global TB Caucus is a network of 2300 parliamentarians in 130 countries that was founded in Barcelona, Spain, on 30 October 2014, at The Union’s 45th World Conference. The Caucus is chaired by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health for South Africa, and the Rt Hon Nick Herbert, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi addressed the Moscow meeting on 17 November, calling for an end to TB deaths and the urgent development of TB R&D initiatives: “We must come up with innovative research and development models such as The Life Prize formerly known as ‘the 3P’ project, which delinks the cost of R&D from the final cost of medicines.” He said.

Mr Herbert said “The High-Level Meeting will determine the future of the global TB epidemic…but what will be needed is action, not just words. We’ve had all the global declarations TB needs. Now we actually need to beat it."

Speaking to The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Mr Herbert said:

“Tuberculosis has not had the necessary political attention, and at last that is changing”.

Download the report ‘The Price of a Pandemic 2017 (PDF 810 KB)