Top Line

According to the World Health Organisation, global deaths from tuberculosis increased in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade as Covid-19 disrupted care and limited funds and resources to fight the pandemic. report good published on Thursday, underscores the devastating impact of the pandemic on our health and the fight against other deadly diseases.

important facts

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The WHO said that TB caused about 1.5 million deaths worldwide in 2020, up from an estimated 1.4 million in 2019.

The WHO said the figure mainly reflects an increase in deaths in the 30, typically treatable and preventable disease worldwide for the first time in poorer countries with the highest TB burden, including China, Brazil, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. There has been an increase in the deaths. 2005.

At the same time, the number of new diagnoses fell from about 7.1 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020, and the WHO estimates that around 4.1 million people are diagnosed with the disease but not diagnosed, up from 2.9 million in 2019.

The WHO said disruptions to essential services and care for TB, as well as the diversion of funds and resources for TB toward Covid-19, are responsible for eroding years of progress in controlling the disease around the world.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the findings were “alarming” and “should serve as a global awareness call” for the urgent need for investment, research and innovation in TB.

According to WHO estimates, TB deaths are expected to be “very high” in the next two years.

important quotes

“The report confirms our fears that disruption to essential health services due to the pandemic could begin to highlight years of progress against tuberculosis,” Tedros said. It is not just progress in fighting TB that experts fear will be eradicated by the pandemic and that many disruptions to services disproportionately affect those living in poor countries with less developed health systems. WHO has already warned how the pandemic could make its return around the world Malaria And HIV programs, as well as access to vital services around the world. very programs To vaccination The lockdown against diseases like measles, polio and meningitis came to a standstill, leaving many vulnerable to these dreaded diseases. Peter Sands, Director of the Global Fund, described Covid-19 is described as “the most significant setback in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria that we have suffered in the two decades since the Global Fund was established.” The organization takes initiatives to combat these diseases around the world.

main background

Tuberculosis, a bacterial infection that often attacks the lungs, is one of the biggest killers in history. In 2019, when the most recent data was available, TB was the world’s 13th largest killer (TB deaths among HIV-positive people are classified as HIV-related deaths and if included) into the top ten). It has been documented in humans for thousands of years under various names – including consumption, phthisis and white plague – and was the leading infectious killer in the world (above HIV) until 2020, when Covid-19 claimed the top spot. Was. It is both preventable and curable and disproportionately affects poorer countries today – the WHO said about 90% of people who fall ill are in just 30 countries.

tangent line

It is not just the fight against infectious diseases that have held back from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. In wealthy countries such as the US, routine surgery and screening or treatment cancer Delayed or cancelled, millions have been left without the care they need. recent vote It suggests that one in five Americans had to delay care for critical illnesses because of the pandemic.

big number

$5.3 billion. How much was spent on TB in 2020, down from $5.8 billion in 2019, according to a WHO report. This is less than half of what the WHO needs to say.

Covid-19 wreaks havoc with best plans to end tuberculosis (Businesshala)

How COVID is derailing the fight against HIV, TB and malaria (Nature)

Global Tuberculosis Report 2021 (WHO)

Spitting up blood: a history of tuberculosis (Helen Bynum, 2012)