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‘It’s time to end TB’

Burnet Institute

24 March, 2019

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‘It’s time to end TB’ is the theme for World TB Day, celebrated on March 24 each year to highlight the global epidemic of tuberculosis and the efforts made to eliminate the disease.

This year’s campaign seeks to ensure the commitments made at last year’s United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB are delivered, including commitments to diagnose and successfully treat:

  • 40 million people with TB by 2022;
  • 3.5 million people with TB by 2022;
  • 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), including 115,000 children by 2022;
  • And prevent TB for those most at risk, so that at least 30 million people receive preventive treatment by 2022

On World TB Day 2019, Burnet Institute Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr Philipp du Cros believes the global community has a unique opportunity to effect massive change.

“To make a difference, we need to do better with what we have, and we urgently need research to develop new approaches,” Dr du Cros said.

“TB is preventable, it’s treatable, it’s curable with the tools that we have now so we need to start using them comprehensively.

“We need to get better at going out into communities and finding the cases where people live, rather than waiting for them to come into the hospitals when they’re really sick, and we need to get better at implementing the latest guidelines on using shorter and safer and easier to take preventive treatments.”

Dr du Cros said it’s important also to hold governments accountable to ensure that the political commitments they’ve pledged are transformed into action, and to safeguard funding.

Despite significant progress over recent decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming 4300 lives every day, and the Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 62 per cent of the world’s new cases of TB.

Australia’s leading cities are supporting World TB Day by joining the global movement to ‘Light up the World for TB’. Town Halls in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Launceston will be lit up in red to show the cities’ commitment towards ending TB globally.

Trafalgar Bridge in Perth, Darwin Convention Centre and key landmarks in Hobart, Cairns and Logan City in Queensland will also be lighting up for TB.

Find out more about Burnet’s TB research, or contribute to our Campaign to STOP TB.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Doctor Philipp du Cros

Infectious Diseases Specialist, TB Elimination and Implementation Science

Email

phillip.ducros@burnet.edu.au

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