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WHO Campaign Urges Clinicians to ‘Unite to End Tuberculosis’

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In recognition of World TB Day on March 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Decisions in Dentistry urge dental professionals to make sure their infection prevention protocols meet current standards in order to help stop the spread of TB.

The motto of WHO’s 2016 awareness campaign, “Unite to End Tuberculosis,” speaks to the need for government, industry, health care professionals and the public to partner in ways that will eradicate the disease. While there has been significant progress in the fight against TB — with 43 million lives saved since 2000 — WHO notes the battle is far from over. It reports that on a global level, more than 4000 people lose their lives each day to what it characterizes as one of the world’s “leading infectious diseases.”

Multidrug-resistant TB is another critical challenge, and the group asserts that urgent action in addressing antimicrobial resistance is critical to ending TB. Noting that global response to the crisis remains underfunded in terms of implementation and research, WHO cites the need to improve delivery of care, and speed the development of diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines. Learn more.


KEY TB FACTS

  • TB ranks alongside HIV/AIDS the world’s top infectious disease killer.
  • In 2014, 9.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease
  • More than 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and TB is among the top five causes of death for women ages 15 to 44.
  • In 2014, an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB, and 140,000 children died.
  • TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people: in 2014, one in three HIV deaths was due to TB.
  • The TB death rate dropped by 47% between 1990 and 2015.
  • An estimated 43 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2014.

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