33rd meeting of the International Task Force for Disease Eradication, 14-15 March 2022/33e reunion du Groupe special international pour l'eradication des maladies 14-15 mars 2022.

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Date: July 15, 2022
From: Weekly Epidemiological Record(Vol. 97, Issue 28)
Publisher: World Health Organization
Document Type: Article
Length: 9,744 words
Lexile Measure: 1700L

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The 33rd meeting of the International Task Force for Disease Eradication (ITFDE) (1) was convened virtually and in person at the Carter Center in Atlanta (GA), USA, on 14-15 March 2022. The topics of day 1 were "Setting the stage status of the tuberculosis pandemic and impact of COVID-19", "Recap of what has transpired following the United Nations high-level 2018 meeting" and "Way forward for United Nations high-level 2023 meeting". That of day 2 was "Who is doing what to implement available tools and develop new tools?". The ITFDE had last discussed tuberculosis (TB) in 2010 and identified the following goals: accelerated improvement and extension of laboratory services for diagnosis and treatment, including assessment of drug resistance; more assistance for better control and research; better access to care and coverage of the most vulnerable populations; and political advocacy for TB control by potential allies within and outside the health sector.

Global overview of tuberculosis

Globally, TB remains the infectious disease that causes the most deaths, second only to COVID-19. In 2020 alone, an estimated 1.5 million people died from TB, and almost 10 million people acquired TB. About 5.8 million people were reported to have access to TB care down from 7.1 million in 2019.

According to the WHO 2021 Global TB report, the number of deaths from TB in 2021 increased for the first time in over a decade, as COVID-19 caused major disruptions in access to TB care. The socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by the crises and conflicts in eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, have further exacerbated the situation, especially for the most vulnerable. Global spending on TB programmes fell from US$ 5.8 billion to US$ 5.3 billion in 2020, which is less than half of the annual global target of US$ 13 billion by 2022. Investments in TB programmes have been beneficial not only for people with TB but for strengthening health systems and the preparedness that is essential for the pandemic response.

People-centered delivery of TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care services should be ensured at the same time as that for COVID-19 and other emergency responses. Rapid uptake of new WHO guidelines and tools, including all-oral treatments, novel disease screening approaches and molecular diagnostic tests, could significantly improve access, the quality of care and treatment outcomes for patients. Extending social protection and universal health coverage, combating stigmatization and discrimination and strengthening multisectoral engagement and accountability are essential to address the social determinants and drivers of the TB epidemic. Ending TB, defined as an incidence rate of <10 people per 100 000 population per year, is possible. The main targets of the End TB Strategy are to reduce the number of TB deaths by 95%, to reduce the number of new cases of TB by 90% between 2015 and 2035 and to ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB.

Ending TB in a low-burden country: the USA

Since 1953, when the USA began recording data systematically,...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A711418904