The World Health Organization issued a report this month noting that the world is falling behind in efforts to contain tuberculosis. According to the WHO,
A strategy that can cure up to 90% of all tuberculosis cases, and thus is the best chance for controlling the global epidemic, is reaching only 27% of the world’s TB patients. . . . According to the new WHO report, at the current rate, TB targets set for 2005 will not be reached until 2013.
Tuberculosis currently kills about 2 million people a year, and is the number one preventable cause of death in the developing world.
The main thing holding back better treatment of tuberculosis is money. WHO estimates that countries around the world need to spend about $300 million more per year to control tuberculosis.
Funding ‘hits tuberculosis fight’. The BBC, March 24, 2002.
Only a fraction of TB patients get the best care. World Health Organization, Press Release, March 22, 2002.
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