Statement from USAID Administrator Mark Green on World Tuberculosis (TB) Day

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 22, 2019
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

 
World TB Day, on March 24, commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

TB is the world's most-lethal infectious disease and ninth leading killer; it infected an estimated 10 million people in 2017 and caused almost two million deaths. An estimated 560,000 people developed multi-drug-resistant strains (MDR-TB) that year, and required more-intensive treatment.

Since 2014, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided treatment to more than 13 million people, including more than 300,000 who were suffering from MDR-TB. Our partners have achieved nearly a 50 percent reduction in TB-related deaths across priority countries, and saved more than 54 million lives in the process. As the largest bilateral donor for TB, since 2000, USAID has funded programming in 23 countries, and aided more than 30 additional countries through grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (to which the United States contributes one-third of the overall financing).

The recently launched USAID Global Accelerator to End TB is a new business model designed to catalyze investments across multiple countries and sectors both to end the epidemic and build self-reliance. Since the launch, I am happy to share that we released the Local Organization Network Annual Program Statement, and in less than six weeks, we received more than 300 concept notes from 23 countries in response. We have unveiled USAID's TB Accelerator Dashboard -- located on our TB Data Hub -- to increase the transparency of data and performance-based programming. We have also established Partnership Statements with the Governments of India, Mozambique, Uganda, and Uzbekistan and have strengthened capacity in Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe by embedding advisors in their Ministries of Health. Finally, we've also hosted two roundtables of faith-based organizations, which are often the primary health care providers in countries where TB is endemic.

In addition, when I launched the Accelerator, we made a special commitment to India, and we have continued to build upon it with the TB Pledge, part of an ongoing multi-sectoral approach to attracting private sector investment to contribute to the Government of India's goal of a TB-Free India by 2025. India accounts for 27 percent of the world's TB cases, and 421,000 deaths per year, or nearly one person every minute.

When I visited India in November 2017, I met with a group of brave TB survivors and their families. I learned about the barriers to testing and treatment they face on a daily basis, including discrimination. Some initially were reluctant to seek treatment because of the stigma the disease carries, but they persevered and now work as patient advocates. They are an inspiration to us all.

Last updated: May 13, 2019

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