Video Message by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on World Tuberculosis Day 2021
24 March 2021
Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening!
The world is running out of time to deliver on the commitments made by global leaders to end tuberculosis. This is especially critical in the context of COVID-19 pandemic which disproportionately affects the world’s poorest people who are already at higher risk for TB. An estimated 1.4 million fewer people received care for tuberculosis in 2020 than the year before, leading to as many as half a million additional deaths.
Tuberculosis is a preventable, treatable and curable disease, but it remains one of the top infectious killers worldwide. One way to address this is through screening to rapidly identify people with TB infection or disease. New guidance issued by WHO aims to help countries identify where the needs are in communities and populations at highest risk of TB, so that people can obtain prevention and care services. We must keep the momentum going to stop the spread of this ancient disease and reach those affected with the care they need.
We’re running out of time. The clock is ticking. It’s time for urgent action to end TB.
I thank you.