Today, on March 24, we commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
Countries in the Eastern part of the WHO European Region are most affected by the TB epidemic. The 18 high-priority countries in eastern Europe and central Asia account for 85% of the tuberculosis incidence and more than 90% of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases emerging in the region. These countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Despite much progress in Eastern Europe, critical challenges remain as regards access to appropriate treatment regimens, patient hospitalisation, scale-up of laboratory capacity, including the use of rapid diagnostics and second-line Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST), vulnerable populations human resources, and financing.
The theme of World TB day 2023 is “Yes, we can end TB!” and brings attention to TB and our collective power to end TB by 2030 and therefore reach the Sustainable Development Goals. If we want to stop TB, we need to act immediately, uniting organizations, facilitating dialogs between businesses, governments, NGOs, and setting a good example. Only through smart cooperation and innovative approach we can change the situation, develop sustainable solutions to world challenges, and achieve sustainable development goals of good health and well-being.
Let’s unite! Let’s end TB together!