The United Nations General Assembly met on the 26th of September 2018 at a High Level Meeting to discuss TB. The goal of the event was to accelerate efforts in ending TB and reaching all affected people with prevention and care. The High-Level Meeting gathered Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health and Social Development, with a strong presence of civil society, people affected by the disease and academia.
It resulted in an ambitious Political Declaration on TB endorsed by Heads of States that will strengthen action and investments for the end TB response, saving millions of lives and with the aim of, finally, putting the world on track to achieving the targets established for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to 2030.
Over the coming years, Global TB Caucus members will have a pivotal role to play in holding governments accountable, especially in the development of policies to close the gap of the undiagnosed cases, implementing strategies to overcome the challenges of the drug- resistant TB, ensuring resources and investments in research and development for TB, and monitoring national plans in the countries.
The UN High-Level Meeting on TB outlined epidemiological targets for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of TB. It also outlined other critical targets relating to financing the global TB response, with additional targets set to close the funding gap for TB R&D. Within the operational sections in the political declaration, these key targets are included. They are outlined below, as they are important in holding governments to account, and for measuring national progress.
Key target 1: Diagnose and treat 40 million people with TB from 2018 - 2022 (OP1 summarised) Commit to provide diagnosis and treatment with the aim of successfully treating 40 million people with tuberculosis from 2018 to 2022, including 3.5 million children, and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant tuberculosis including 115,000 children with drug-resistant tuberculosis, and with special focus on reaching vulnerable and marginalized among the 4 million each year who have been most likely to miss out on quality care;
Key target 2: Commit to overcome drug-resistant TB (OP3 summarised) Commit to overcome multidrug- resistant tuberculosis including: compliance with stewardship programmes, improved pharmaco-vigilance, and improved treatment adherence for people with drug-sensitive tuberculosis; universal, equitable and affordable access to quality diagnosis, treatment, care and support for people with drug- resistant tuberculosis; global collaboration to ensure accelerated development of accessible and affordable diagnostic tools, and shorter and more effective oral regimens, including those that meet the unique needs of children;
Key target 3: Fully finance the global TB response, with investments reaching at least US$ 13 billion a year by 2022 (OP23 summarised) Commit to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing for universal access to quality prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of tuberculosis, from all sources, with the aim of increasing overall global investments for ending tuberculosis reaching at least US$ 13 billion a year by 2022, as estimated by the Stop TB Partnership and World Health Organization, according to each country’s capacity and strengthened solidarity, including through contribution to the World Health Organization as well as voluntary mechanisms such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, including its replenishment;
Key target 4: Close the funding gap for TB R&D, with investments reaching US$ 2 billion annually (OP24 summarised) Commit to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing, with the aim of increasing overall global investments to US$ 2 billion, in order to close the estimated US$ 1.3 billion gap in funding annually for tuberculosis research, ensuring all countries contribute appropriately to research and development, through the engagement of domestic, international and innovative financing mechanisms;
Key target 5: Develop or strengthen national TB strategic plans (OP25 summarised) Commit to develop or strengthen, as appropriate, national tuberculosis strategic plans to include all necessary measures to deliver the commitments in this political declaration, including through national multisectoral mechanisms to monitor and review progress achieved towards ending the tuberculosis epidemic, with high-level leadership, preferably under the direction of the head of state or government, and with the active involvement of all stakeholders, and promote that tuberculosis becomes part of national strategic planning and budgeting for health