Project HOPE Urges Congressional Action to End Tuberculosis Globally
Washington, DC (7 November 2023) – With a longstanding commitment and program to prevent, treat, and cure tuberculosis (TB) globally, the global health and humanitarian organization Project HOPE urges the U.S. Senate and House to enact the “End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2023.” Introduced by representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) and María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) in the House, and Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Todd Young (R-IN) in the Senate, the Act strengthens U.S. efforts to eliminate TB worldwide in line with the goals of the international community.
Today, WHO released its Global Tuberculosis 2023 report, which provides data from 192 countries demonstrating significant recovery from the disruptions caused by COVID-19 in treatment and diagnosis of TB, as a result of improved health services in many countries. However, cases of TB still increased from the previous year, reaching 10.6 million. The report also emphasizes the importance of addressing the social, environmental, and economic determinants of TB.
An infectious disease spread by bacteria through the air, TB constitutes a major burden for individuals, families, and communities around the world, leading to 1.6 million deaths in 2021 and 10.6 million illnesses, as cited by the World Health Organization (WHO). With the right interventions, however, TB is preventable and curable.
Since the 1990s, Project HOPE has worked with many countries including those in the former Soviet Union, Central Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe to support national programs and strategies to fight TB and multi-drug resistance TB (MDR). This work has included prevention, screening, case-finding, care and treatment, operational research, and behavioral change communication activities.
At Project HOPE, we recognize the continued need for investment in new and innovative technologies to fight TB, increased support for training and enhancing the capabilities of frontline health workers to identify and bring people into treatment, and an increase in overall funding to address this disease.
“Despite inexpensive treatments being available for more than 70 years, people continue to die unnecessarily from TB,” said Jed Meline, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Project HOPE. “Today with new technologies, better tools, and greater training of frontline healthcare workers, the stars seem aligned to tackle this disease head-on now.”
Project HOPE supports continued efforts in our organization as well as through participation in the STOP TB Partnership, to achieve the goals of the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on October 10, 2018.
The targets include reaching 90% of people with TB prevention and care services, using a WHO-recommended rapid test to diagnose TB; providing social benefit packages to incentivize treatment completion; licensing one new TB vaccine; and closing funding gaps for TB implementation and research by 2027.
With the signing of UN political declaration on TB, upcoming global conferences such as the Paris Meeting, COP28 and the High-Level Meetings on Antimicrobial Resistance in 2024, and the release of the WHO annual report on TB which takes stock of the situation since COVID-19 and calls for an accelerated response to meet the new targets set out by the UN political declaration – the time is now to pass the Act to End Tuberculosis.
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leading global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries around the world. We work side-by-side with local health systems to save lives and improve health. Our mission is at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information on Project HOPE and its work around the world, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on socials @ProjectHOPEorg.