The 2023 United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Tuberculosis (TB) saw world leaders come together to commit to increased political will and funding to combat the TB pandemic in the form of a newly adopted Political Declaration.
Key commitments include treating 45 million people with active TB between 2023 and 2027, including up to 4.5 million children and up to 1.5 million people with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), as well as preventative treatment for up to another 45 million people. Member states also committed to increasing annual global TB funding toward $22 billion annually by 2027 and $35 billion by 2030, an investment multiple times current funding levels. The commitment specifically includes $5 billion annually for TB research and innovation by 2027, to support the development of point of care diagnostics, vaccines for all forms of tuberculosis, and shorter, safer, and more effective treatment regimens.
Throughout the meeting, it was clear that drug-resistant TB is of profound concern to the TB community and to nations around the world. TB Alliance’s six-month, all-oral, highly effective drug-resistant TB treatment was heralded as a hallmark of recent advances in TB and an example of the types of innovations that are possible when political will, financial investment, and adequate resources are applied. Many world leaders expressed their commitment to further scale-up the availability of new DR-TB therapies throughout their countries.
Below are a few snippets of what the world had to say about new, six-month DR-TB therapies and the need to continue to invest in better, shorter, and even safer and more effective TB cures:
- "We now have new and powerful tools that we didn’t have five years ago: rapid diagnostics to test for TB in less than two hours and an effective regimen including for drug-resistant TB." – Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
- "South Africa has been at the forefront of introducing and scaling up new tools for diagnosis and shorter treatment regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis." – Dr. Joe Phaahla, Minister of Health, South Africa
- "TB Alliance has already brought quite revolutionary new treatments to the market. More than a million courses of children’s medicines have been delivered to over 123 countries. And their new treatment – the new treatment for drug-resistant TB is quicker, it is more effective, has fewer side effects, and is estimated to save up to 43,000 more lives by 2025." – Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Kingdom
- “We have seen firsthand proof that innovation can have a huge impact on the TB pandemic, but the choice really before us now is whether we want progress at a relatively slow pace, or we’ll willing collectively to ensure the necessary resources and funding for vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and, equally importantly at least, for innovation in healthcare delivery so that TB can be eliminated globally. But, we need markedly enhanced commitments from the many, many more partners than, frankly, what we have today and then we can look forward not to saying that we want to end TB, but that TB has been ended.” – Dr. Mel Spigelman, President and CEO, TB Alliance
- “Australia is playing our part globally in finance through partnership with the Global Fund, and in science and innovation through investments in Product Development Partnerships, including TB Alliance.” – Stephanie Williams, Ambassador for Regional Health Security, Australia
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