On September 26, 2018 world leaders gathered at the United Nations for the historic UN High Level Meeting (UNHLM) on Tuberculosis. At the meeting, Heads of States and their representatives endorsed the UN Political Declaration on TB with ambitious TB commitments that will make ending TB a future possibility.
Among the specific goals that Heads of States agreed to were:
- Commit to provide and treat 40 million people with TB by 2022, including 3.5 million children and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB
- Commit to preventing TB for those at most risk of developing TB, providing TB preventive therapy to at least 30 million people, including 4 million children under 5 years of age and 6 million people living with HIV, by 2022.
- Commit to securing sustainable financing for TB research and development with the aim of increasing overall global investment to US $2 billion annually, ensuring that all countries contribute appropriately, to support quality research and development of new and the effective implementation of recently approved health technologies.
- Commit to mobilize sufficient financing for universal access to quality prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for TB, with the aim of increasing global investment for ending TB to at least US$13 billion a year by 2022.
- Request the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop a multisectoral accountability framework and ensure its timely implementation no later than 2019.
The meeting sparked attention to the plight of TB, but it also shined a spotlight on the hurdles that have made it difficult to be a TB-free world.
The Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis report provides a roadmap for countries to use to get on track to meet the UNHLM commitments.