Today is World TB day.

As the world scales up action and accelerates important efforts to end TB, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals and WHO End TB Strategy, we must work hard to close the gaps that cause women and men with TB to be marginalised and left behind.

Worldwide, approximately 10 million people still fall ill with TB annually. Although more adults than children, and more men than women are diagnosed with TB – TB is one of the top 10 causes of death including for women (GLOBAL TUBERCULOSIS REPORT 2018).

In many countries around the world, women, girls and gender minorities are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be illiterate and malnourished, and lack access to health and economic opportunities. They’re also more likely to be (paid or unpaid) caregivers for people with TB.

This World TB Day Women4GlobalFund call for the following:

It’s time! for more gender analysis and gender-responsive programming around TB programming at the national level. TB is now the leading cause of death for women globally, there is an increasingly urgent need to direct efforts and resources to understanding the ways in which the risks and effects of TB are determined by sex and gender roles.  This can be done through the UNAIDS AND STOP TB PARTNERSHIP, Gender assessment tool for national HIV and TB responses: Towards gender-transformative HIV and TB responses

In most low and middle-income countries about two-thirds of reported TB cases are men and only one third women, and it is not well known whether this is due to a higher risk of developing TB among men or under-notification of TB among women with the evidence that women are less likely to be diagnosed with tuberculosis and successfully treated.”

It’s time! for better programme and system integration. HIV and TB programmes are rarely integrated, and even more rare when they are integrated across different health services in a health system.  Evidence shows that holistic structures deliver better care and support and is underscored by real-world observations that people living with HIV are 50 times more likely to develop TB annually than their HIV-negative counterparts.

It’s time! to ending stigma. We must end TB-related stigma and discrimination, alongside efforts to expand access to human rights based services, treatment and care for all.

Thanks to the Stop TB Partnership we have access to THIS LIST. Check out if your Head of State or Government is on Twitter and send them a message.

For more information shared by the Stop TB Partnership visit the following useful links:

  • USAID Administrator Mark Green’s remarks at USAID’s World TB Day event  – here.
  • 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health – here.
  • On 24th March, Nigeria will host a high-level event in the presence of the First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, who is a long-standing and committed TB Champion  – Keep an eye on the Stop TB Partnership social media page for more!
  • The Stop TB Partnership’s Private Sector Constituency statement on World TB Day –  here.
  • The Lancet Commission on TB. Read the full report here.