SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Annual tuberculosis deaths drop by nearly half in 25 years

TB deaths almost halved in 25 years | Courtesy of cdc.gov

Health officials recently announced the global death rate for tuberculosis (TB) in 2015 is almost half compared to the figure from 1990.

Since 2000, the year officials established the Millennium Development Goals, an estimated 43 million lives have been saved by better diagnosis and treatment.

Despite the encouraging news, TB is still one of the leading causes of death around the world, and 1.5 million people died from the disease in 2014. According to the 2015 Global TB report, which was released by the World Health Organization (WHO), many of these deaths were avoidable.

To further reduce the overall burden of TB, gaps in detection and treatment need to be closed. There also needs to be novel diagnostics and better funding, new vaccines and innovative drugs.

“The report shows that TB control has had a tremendous impact in terms of lives saved and patients cured,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said. “These advances are heartening, but if the world is to end this epidemic, it needs to scale up services and, critically, invest in research.”

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