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2023 TB report highlights positive trend in diagnosis and treatment

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The World Health Organization (WHO) 2023 Global tuberculosis (TB) report highlights a positive trend in the global scale-up of TB diagnosis and treatment services in 2022, marking a recovery from the disruptions caused by COVID-19. The report is based on data from 192 countries and areas and reveals that 7.5 million people were diagnosed with TB in 2022, the highest number since global TB monitoring began in 1995.

This increase is attributed to improved access to health services in many countries, including India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which recovered beyond 2019 levels. While the global number of TB cases rose slightly to 10.6 million in 2022, TB-related deaths decreased to 1.3 million. However, the disruptions from COVID-19 resulted in nearly half a million additional TB deaths, and TB remains a leading cause of death among people with HIV.

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health challenge, with only a fraction of affected individuals accessing treatment. Although there is progress in developing new TB diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines, limited investment hinders these efforts.

Despite the recovery in 2022, global progress fell short of meeting the 2018 TB targets, with ongoing conflicts and pandemic-related disruptions contributing to this shortfall. New targets for 2023-2027 have been set at the 2023 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB, aiming to reach 90% of people in need with TB prevention and care services, improve diagnostics, provide a health and social benefit package to all TB patients, ensure the availability of a safe and effective new TB vaccine, and close funding gaps for TB implementation and research by 2027.

The report emphasizes the need for collaborative efforts across various sectors to address the social, environmental, and economic determinants of TB and highlights the importance of translating commitments into tangible actions to end the global TB epidemic. It also points out that the report is based on data gathered by WHO from national Ministries of Health and calls for coordinated action to make a significant impact on communities and livelihoods affected by TB.

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