47 per cent decline in TB mortality since 1990


THERE has been a 47 per cent decline in TB mortality since 1990, and 43 million lives have been saved from 2000 to 2014 thanks to compressive diagnosis and treatment programmes for TB.

This is coming from the Minister of Health, John Boyce, who delivered opening remarks at the Tuberculosis Management Update Meeting recently at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa.

He said that the just concluded Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for TB was to stop or reverse TB cases, and this was achieved in the majority of the high burden countries affected by TB.

“According to the 2015 Global TB Report, major advancements in tuberculosis treatment with a 47 per cent decline in TB mortality since 1990. Effective diagnosis and treatment of TB had saved an estimated 43 million lives from between the year 2000 and 2014.

“The Millennium Development Goals target for TB was to halt and reverse TB incidence, and this was achieved in 16 of the 22 high burden countries which together account for about 80 per cent of tuberculosis cases.”

Boyce said that this year, World TB Day could not have come at a better time, as it fittingly falls between the end of the MDGs and the beginning of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“World TB Day 2016 has special significance, occurring after the Millennium Development Goals and the start of the era of the Sustainable Development Goals. This transition period has also seen us move from the ‘Stop TB Strategy’ to the ‘End TB Strategy’ by 2030.”

The Minister of Health stated that from this year, they are focussing on trying to end the spreading of this disease through their SDGs initiative, which provides a guideline for how nations can reduce deaths from TB by 90 per cent over the next 14 years, among other things.

“From 2016, the goal is to end the global TB epidemic by implementing the ‘End TB Strategy.’ Adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2014, and the targets linked to the newly adopted STGs, this strategy serves as a blueprint for countries to reduce the number of tuberculosis deaths by 90 per cent by the year 2030, reduce new cases by 80 per cent and ensure that no family is burdened with the catastrophic costs due to tuberculosis.”

He added that this is important, and until this disease is eliminated, World TB Day should serve as an ideal opportunity to educate and inform the public on the devastating effects of this disease ,and how we all can come together to end it.

“Until tuberculosis is eliminated, World TB Day should be seen as a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the devastation TB can cause and how we can unite to end TB.”

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