The World Health Organization releases an advocacy and communications package to support awareness building and drive action across all levels, in the lead up to and on World TB Day.
28 February 2023, Geneva | In less than one month, millions around the globe will come together to commemorate World TB Day on 24 March. The theme of World TB Day 2023 - 'Yes! We can end TB!', aims to inspire hope and encourage high-level leadership, increased investments, faster uptake of new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, adoption of innovations, accelerated action, and multisectoral collaboration to combat the TB epidemic. This year is critical, with opportunities to raise visibility and political commitment at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB. The spotlight of World TB Day will be on urging countries to ramp up progress in the lead-up to the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB.
On World TB Day, WHO is calling for action on several fronts to ensure that the commitments made to end TB are achieved:
- High-level leadership and action to end TB. 2023 is the year to shine a spotlight on ending TB and on the suffering it causes to millions, as well as to call for comprehensive and universal care for those affected. The 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB that will bring together Heads of State, provides the opportunity to mobilize political and social commitment to ramp up progress against this ancient disease. WHO’s Director General will launch a flagship initiative spanning 2023-2027, bringing together countries and stakeholders to redouble efforts to ensure universal access to prevention, care and the latest tools and technologies to combat TB on the road to Universal Health Coverage. WHO will also issue a call to action with partners urging Member States to accelerate the rollout of new WHO-recommended shorter all-oral treatment regimens for drug-resistant TB. It is our collective responsibility to confront inequalities and put an end to this preventable and curable disease.
- Urgent investment of resources, support, care and information are vital to ensure universal access to TB care for research. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing conflict and socioeconomic crises, that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. More investments towards supporting the roll out of WHO-recommended TB preventive treatment options, shorter TB treatment regimens, rapid molecular diagnostics and tests for TB infection, other innovations and digital tools will lead to improvements in health outcomes and save millions of lives. Importantly, investments in research and innovation are vital to fast-track efforts to reach the end TB targets.
- Tackling health inequities to ensure health for all. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the deep disparities that persist between and within countries. People with TB are among the most marginalized and vulnerable, facing barriers in accessing care. WHO is calling for global action to address health inequities for people with TB and other diseases.
- Ending TB requires concerted action by all sectors to provide the right services, support and enabling safe environment in the right place, at the right time. TB is mainly concentrated in settings beset by poverty and other social and economic challenges and in the most vulnerable populations. Poverty, undernourishment, poor living and working conditions, among others, affect how people fall ill, develop TB and cope with the demands of treatment (including medical, financial and social), and influence the health outcomes they face. Thus, progress in combating TB and its drivers cannot be achieved by the health system alone and requires firm political commitment at the highest level, strong multisectoral collaboration (beyond health), and an effective accountability system.
“We hope that the high-level opportunities in 2023 can inspire concrete commitments and actions to get the TB response back-on-track, following the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises, said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme. "We cannot falter till we reach and save every person, family and community impacted by this deadly disease. Let us join forces this World TB Day, and call for an end to excuses and delays in prioritizing investments and action to end one of the world's top infectious killers. Yes! Together we can end TB!”
WHO has developed an advocacy and communications package to support awareness building and drive action across all levels, in the lead up to and on World TB Day. Access the package and information how to join important events here. More resources will be added to the WHO World TB Day Campaign page in the coming weeks including translated materials in 6 UN languages.
Source: World Health Organization