18 October 2019 | Statements

Unitaid greets Global TB Report, cites need for innovation to reach goals

Geneva – Unitaid welcomes new data from the World Health Organization’s Global TB Report showing a drop in tuberculosis cases and an increase in detection and treatment, but stresses that innovative tools, drugs and approaches will be indispensable to ending the epidemic by the UN’s 2030 target date.

“With this rate of progress we won’t reach the goals. We need to do better. We need to go faster,” Unitaid Executive Director Lelio Marmora said.

The Global TB Report, released on Thursday, showed that TB deaths fell from 1.6 million in 2017 to 1.5 million in 2018. The burden remains high among low-income and marginalized populations. Around 10 million people developed TB in 2018.

Unitaid is the world’s largest multilateral funder of TB research and development, with investments poised to hit US$ 300 million in 2020. Unitaid collaborates with partners to jump-start innovations in diagnostics, prevention, and treatment and to position new tools, medicines and approaches for wide introduction.

New Unitaid projects are developing child-friendly treatments and preventive therapy for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, bringing in fast, accurate, gene-based diagnosis, and piloting technologies to help patients adhere to TB treatment.

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