World TB Day – 24 March

Saturday 24 March is International World TB Day.

TB is curable, but 37,000 people die every year from this airborne disease in our region – that’s almost five deaths every hour. Despite the shocking statistics and the heart-wrenching stories, international financial support for TB programmes in the European region is declining. This will have a devastating impact across Europe.

Despite many people believing TB has been eradicated in the UK it never went away. In fact, the UK experienced a two-decade-long rise in cases from the mid-1980s. It is only in the last few years that the UK has begun to match the global trend for falling rates of TB, with affected individuals dropping from a peak of 8,919 cases in 2011 to around 6,000 cases annually today.

In England in 2016:

  • There were 5,664 TB cases
  • 39% of cases were in London
  • 74% of cases were among non-UK born people
  • 3.8% of people with TB were also living with HIV
  • 11.1% of people with TB had at least one social risk factor for TB (a history of alcohol or drug misuse, homelessness or imprisonment)
  • 31% of people with pulmonary TB waited over four months from onset of symptoms to beginning treatment

TB Targets in the UK

In 2015, the government launched the Collaborative TB Strategy for England which set out the steps required to achieving the ambition of a year-on-year decrease in TB incidence, a reduction in health inequalities and, ultimately, the elimination of TB as a public health problem in England.

The Stop TB Partnership is leading the way to a world without tuberculosis (TB), a disease that is curable but still kills three people every minute. Founded in 2001, the Partnership’s mission is to serve every person who is vulnerable to TB and ensure that high-quality diagnosis , treatment and care is available to all who need it.

Together the 1500 partners are a collective force that is transforming the fight against TB in more than 100 countries. They include international and technical organizations, government programmes, research and funding agencies, foundations, NGOs, civil society and community groups and the private sector.

They operate through a secretariat hosted by UNOPS in Geneva, Switzerland and seven working groups whose role is to accelerate progress on access to TB diagnosis and treatment; research and development for new TB diagnostics, drugs and vaccines; and tackling drug resistant- and HIV-associated TB. The secretariat is governed by a Coordinating Board that sets strategic direction for the global fight against TB.

The Partnership is recognized as a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB. The participation of a wide range of constituencies gives us credibility and the broad range of medical, social and financial expertises needed to defeat TB.

Their vision is a TB-free world. Our children will see TB eliminated in their lifetime.


  • To ensure that every TB patient has access to effective diagnosis, treatment and cure.
  • To stop transmission of TB.
  • To reduce the inequitable social and economic toll of TB.
  • To develop and implement new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic tools and strategies to stop TB.

By 2030: End the tuberculosis epidemic as envisaged under the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO End TB Strategy.
The 90-(90)-90 targets: Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020 sets out three ambitious new targets. By 2020, at least 90% of all people with TB should be reached and placed on appropriate therapy. As a part of this approach, at least 90% of the most vulnerable, underserved and at-risk populations, should be reached. The third 90 aims to achieve a treatment success of at least 90%. This means that of all people diagnosed with all forms of TB, 90% should be treated successfully.


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