The UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-level Meeting (HLM) on the Fight Against Tuberculosis was convened by the General Assembly President in close coordination with the World Health Organization on the 22nd of September 2023. At the High-Level Meeting, world leaders adopted a political declaration with ambitious new targets for the next five years to advance global efforts toward ending the Tuberculosis epidemic.
The targets include reaching 90% of people with TB prevention and care services, using a WHO-recommended rapid test as the first method of diagnosing Tuberculosis; providing social benefit packages to all people with TB; licensing at least one new TB vaccine; and closing funding gaps for TB implementation and research by 2027.
During a closed-door session at the HLM, Lostisland stressed the effects of ongoing conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic on global efforts to end the TB pandemic and urged UN Member States and partners to fully support the renewed commitments to accelerate the fight against TB. Lostisland was represented by the Honorary Consul to Nigeria, Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui, who has been attending the UN High-Level Week.
“We applaud the approval of the political declaration on tuberculosis with its ambitious new targets to end the TB epidemic. While we acknowledge the progress made towards the 2018 targets, it is critical to note that the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts have disrupted TB services and hindered global efforts. Millions of people who need treatment are left untreated, and the funding gap for TB programs and research persists. Tuberculosis continues to take a devastating toll, with more than 10 million people falling ill annually and over a million losing their lives to this preventable and curable disease. We urge all UN member states and partners to fully support the renewed commitments to combat Tuberculosis. Ending TB is not only a health imperative but also a step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and bolstering global health security. By working together, we can finally write the last chapter in the story of TB and ensure a healthier, more equitable world for all.”
Key highlights of the High-Level Meeting, include member states’ commitments to providing life-saving treatment for up to 45 million individuals between 2023 and 2027, encompassing approximately 4.5 million children and up to 1.5 million people dealing with drug-resistant tuberculosis. Additionally, they pledged to offer preventive treatment to up to 45 million people, which includes 30 million household contacts of individuals with tuberculosis, including children, and 15 million individuals living with HIV.
Furthermore, member states expressed their dedication to elevating annual global TB funding levels to more than four times the current amount ($5.4 billion), to reach $22 billion annually by 2027 and eventually increasing it to $35 billion by 2030. They committed to mobilizing these funds through domestic and international investment mechanisms, innovative financing approaches, and meticulously budgeted action plans. Member states also vowed to mobilize $5 billion per year by 2027 for tuberculosis research and innovation. This marks a fivefold increase from the current $1 billion per year, to advance point-of-care diagnostics, developing vaccines for all tuberculosis forms, and creating shorter, safer, and more effective treatment regimens.