News / Health

WHO: Despite Record-Low Infections, TB Funding a Concern

TB patient covers her face at clinic near Cape Town, South Africa, March 24, 2011 (file photo).
TB patient covers her face at clinic near Cape Town, South Africa, March 24, 2011 (file photo).
Vidushi Sinha

The World Health Organization says the number of people worldwide getting tuberculosis declined last year for the first time, but experts warn this progress could be undone by cuts in funding, especially amid global economic turmoil.

W.H.O. statistics published Tuesday show the number of people who became sick with the disease dropped to 8.8 million in 2010. The number of people who died last year from TB fell to 1.4 million.

The report says every region of the world except Africa appears to be on track for a fifty percent decline in tuberculosis deaths by 2015.

Brazil and China have made especially dramatic progress over the past two decades. In China, the report says, TB deaths fell by 80 percent.

W.H.O.'s Director-General Margaret Chan says strong leadership in many countries, coupled with domestic financing and foreign donor support, has begun to make a difference in the fight against tuberculosis.

Calls for increased funding
Dr. Mario Raviglione, Director of the W.H.O.'s Stop TB Department, says the report shouldn't ease concerns about the disease.

"I am concerned that the momentum that has been created by these achievements may actually be lost," he said. "So that’s why we are calling for an increase in the intensity of tuberculosis control and research."

"Tuberculosis is still a huge global problem," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "It’s a problem both from control with the tools that we have -- and the problem is, that we don’t have many of the sophisticated tools that we have for other diseases such as HIV/AIDS."

With new rapid diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines beginning to show promise, experts say there can be no let-up in the worldwide campaigns to check the disease, a sentiment echoed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement warning against complacency.

"Too many millions still develop TB each year, and too many die," he said. "I urge serious and sustained support for TB prevention and care, especially for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people."

The W.H.O. says about a third of the world's population is infected with TB bacteria, but only a relatively small percentage develops the disease. TB bacteria destroy lung tissue and can spread through the air when people cough.

The agency says that overall the death rate from TB has dropped 40 percent since 1990.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid