WHO and Stop TB Partnership hold landmark TB meeting in Geneva

A group of experts recently participated in a workshop organized by the World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership to propose goals to guide the world's fight against tuberculosis after 2015.

Thirty-one experts participated in the meeting including modeling experts, epidemiologists, civil society advocates, research and development entities, development and technical agencies, and representatives from high burden tuberculosis countries. The group shared the aspirational goal of zero TB deaths, zero TB disease and zero suffering.

The experts broadly agreed on a set of interim targets for 2025, including the reduction of TB deaths by 75 percent by 2025 compared with 2015. The achievement of the goal would drop worldwide TB deaths from a projected 1.2 million in 2015 to 300,000 in 2025.

A closely related second goal is the reduction of the TB incidence rate by 40 percent by 2025 when compared to 2015. A third goal was related to universal health coverage, a potential prominent feature in the broad post-2015 development agency.

To achieve the proposed interim targets, the experts said that a dramatic scale up of TB diagnosis and treatment will be required, in addition to further universal health coverage advancement, poverty reduction, economic development, substantial research and development research, and widespread uptake of new tools.

The participants agreed that even bolder targets should be created for 2030 and 2040.

The World Health Assembly will discuss the new TB elimination strategy and targets in 2014, which will be at the core of the next global TB elimination plan by the Stop TB Partnership.