Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. Delegates from 114 countries have agreed to take urgent action to end TB by 2030, the WHO said.
The announcement came as the delegates gathered in Moscow for the first WHO global ministerial conference on ending tuberculosis, Xinhua news agency reported. The delegates promised to achieve strengthen health systems and improve access to the people regarding TB prevention and care so that no one is left behind.
They also agreed to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through increased domestic and international investments to close gaps in implementation and research.
"Today marks a critical landmark in the fight to end TB," said World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "It signals a long overdue global commitment to stop the death and suffering caused by this ancient killer."
Though global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37 percent, progress in many countries has stalled, global targets are off-track and persistent gaps remain in TB care and prevention, according to the WHO. As a result, TB still kills more people than any other infectious disease. Due to its antimicrobial resistance, TB is also the leading killer of people with HIV.
Representatives at the meeting, which was attended by over 1,000 participants, also promised to minimize the risk and spread of drug resistance and do more to engage people and communities affected by or at risk of TB.