The eradication of tuberculosis (TB) in high-burden African countries could be realized by 2030 once governments prioritize robust financing to cater for enhanced surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care for patients infected with the disease, campaigners said on Friday during the World TB Day.
Lucica Ditiu, executive director of Stop TB Partnership, an international health lobby group, said there is an urgency to tackle funding bottlenecks that have derailed Africa’s quest to eliminate the highly infectious lung disease.
“To end TB in Africa, funding is crucial and so are the political goodwill and adoption of new technologies and innovations to assist in detecting cases and putting them on treatment,” Ditiu said at a virtual forum convened by Stop TB Partnership.
According to the World Health Organization, Africa is home to 17 out of 30 high-burden TB countries globally.
Ditiu said that innovative financing should be combined with vibrant grassroots advocacy and partnerships to strengthen the capacity of Africa’s public health systems to diagnose and treat TB.
Austin Arinze Obiefuna, vice chair of the Stop TB Partnership, said collaborative research, regular prevalence surveys, enhanced data collection, and public awareness will be key to taming the continent’s high TB burden.
Observed under the theme of “Yes! We can end TB!”, the 2023 edition of World TB Day sought to rally governments, donors, industry, and civil society toward increased investments and uptake of innovations as a means to eradicate the disease ahead of the UN 2030 target.