Anna Kovacevich is a senior program assistant at GHTC who supports GHTC's communications and member engagement activities.
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Prior to COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB)—another airborne disease—was the world’s leading global infectious disease killer, claiming the lives of around 1.5 million people annually. Insufficient and inadequate tools and treatments, and growing drug resistance, have challenged global efforts to bring the TB epidemic to an end, and more recently, disruptions from COVID-19 have reversed years of TB progress. In 2020, global TB deaths increased for the first time in more than a decade, and about 1 million fewer people were tested and treated for TB compared to 2019. The number of new cases and deaths increased further in 2021. At the same time, global funding for TB diagnostic, treatment, and prevention services fell by $500 million from 2019 to 2020, and total funding for TB research and development dropped by $33 million.
Scientists hope the tide can be turned as new technologies and innovations advance to market—but to achieve that, more investment is urgently needed to boost resources and reverse setbacks.
In recognition of World TB Day, test your knowledge of innovations to end TB with GHTC’s quiz below: