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Statement by the Private Sector Constituency on World TB Day

24 March 2019 — To mark World TB Day, the Stop TB Partnership Private Sector Constituency (PSC) calls attention to the devastating health, social, and economic impact of tuberculosis (TB), urges the global community to accelerate efforts to end this disease, and commits to do its part. It’s TIME!

It’s time to end TB.
It was on this day in 1882 that the discovery of the bacterium responsible for TB was announced. Despite significant advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment since then, TB is now the world’s deadliest infectious disease, claiming over 1.6 million lives and newly infecting an estimated 10 million people every year. Nearly 1.7 billion people – around a quarter of the world’s population – have latent TB infection; without intervention, up to 10% of these individuals could develop active TB during their lifetime. Alarmingly, the emergence of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) is threatening hard-won gains. DR-TB is now estimated to be responsible for one-third of all deaths due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

It’s time to accelerate impact and innovation in the fight against TB.
The targets under the UN Sustainable Development Goals for TB are ambitious – a 90% reduction in TB deaths, 80% reduction in TB incidence, and no catastrophic costs due to TB – all by 2030. The global response, however, is falling short of what is needed to achieve this target. Weak health systems, insufficient funding, and varying levels of national political commitment are slowing down progress. To end TB, we need to rapidly scale up existing, proven interventions, including new diagnostics, improved medicines, and technologies to support the care journey. At the same time, additional investment in innovation is urgently needed. Controlling and ultimately eliminating TB will require new approaches and technologies across the continuum of TB care.

It’s time to advance public-private partnership.
Winning the fight against TB can only be achieved through partnership and collaboration. The private sector is committed to playing a major role in this important effort, for example through research and development of improved data collection technologies, health information systems, new and innovative medicines and vaccines, as well as novel diagnostic approaches. We are also committed to supporting the health of our own workforces, building awareness around TB, and partnering to support strengthening health systems that can more effectively tackle TB.

It’s time to replenish the Global Fund
The TB response needs more funding. On World TB Day, we call on governments, foundations, individuals and corporations to commit funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria. The Sixth Replenishment Conference taking place October 2019 in France will determine the Global Fund’s resources and ability to continue its critical support to countries in their fight against TB for the coming years.

It’s time to get involved. For more information on how you can contribute to the global fight against TB, visit http://stoptb.org/getinvolved/.

About the PSC: The PSC is a diverse coalition of 60+ companies from around the world committed to ending TB by 2030 in partnership with others. The PSC aims to leverage private sector knowledge, capabilities, and commitments towards ending TB through individual and collective action along the care pathway; raising awareness about TB and its impact on people and communities; improving collaboration between the public and private sectors; and shaping global strategies by actively engaging and contributing unique perspectives in the Stop TB Partnership. For more information on the Stop TB Partnership, visit: www.stoptb.org.

CDC: History of World TB Day. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/history.htm