Statement From USAID Administrator Mark Green on World Tuberculosis Day

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Mark Green, USAID Administrator, speaks at an event in India

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 23, 2018

As World Tuberculosis Day approaches, the U.S. Agency for International Development celebrates the lives saved by the efforts to combat tuberculosis globally, and reflects on the work that lies ahead of us to eliminate this deadly disease. Led by USAID, the U.S. Government is the largest donor to the international fight against tuberculosis, and provides financial and technical support in countries with the highest burden of the disease.

Tuberculosis is the leading infectious-disease killer worldwide; it sickens 10.4 million people each year, and claims the lives of 1.7 million. Tuberculosis affects the poorest of the poor, and drives the impoverished further into poverty. Patients in low- and middle-income countries, on average, lose three to four months of work, and up to 30 percent of their annual income, as they try to cope with the disease. The financial burden is even greater for individuals with multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis. Stigma is a major problem for patients with tuberculosis, especially women, as fear for being shunned by family and community discourages them from seeking treatment and complicates their recovery.

USAID remains committed to saving millions of lives by ending the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030. We will continue to invest resources, leverage contributions from others, and ensure a coordinated and effective response. Building resilient and sustainable tuberculosis programs will contribute significantly to our broader goal of transforming families, communities, and countries so they can thrive and prosper.

We believe the purpose of our assistance must be to end the need for its existence. We know countries want to climb from being recipients of aid to development partners to donors. USAID stands ready to support our partners as they move along their journey to greater prosperity, a journey threatened in many places by the human and financial costs of tuberculosis. Tomorrow, on World Tuberculosis Day, the United States reaffirms our commitment to ending this ancient scourge globally. It is a fight we can win.

Last updated: March 12, 2021

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