For the first time…ever…tuberculosis (TB) is on the decline according to new data published today in the WHO 2011 global tuberculosis control report. This also report shows that the number of people dying from the disease fell to its lowest level in a decade (1.4 million in 2010, after reaching 1.8 million in 2003).
Some Key Tuberculosis report findings
- the number of people who fell ill with TB dropped to 8.8 million in 2010, after peaking at nine million in 2005;
- TB deaths fell to 1.4 million in 2010, after reaching 1.8 million in 2003;
- the TB death rate dropped 40% between 1990 and 2010, and all regions, except Africa, are on track to achieve a 50% decline in mortality by 2015;
- in 2009, 87% of patients treated were cured, with 46 million people successfully treated and seven million lives saved since 1995. However, a third of estimated TB cases worldwide are not notified and therefore it is unknown whether they have been diagnosed and properly treated.
Despite this tremendous progress, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that this is by no means a time reduce funding for the TB response.
“Fewer people are dying of tuberculosis, and fewer are falling ill. This is major progress. But it is no cause for complacency…Too many millions still develop TB each year, and too many die. I urge serious and sustained support for TB prevention and care, especially for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people”.
For more details about the WHO 2011 global tuberculosis control report, read the original press release by WHO.