Tuberculosis a "human tragedy"

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Tuberculosis face mask. Photo: IRIN/David Gough (file)

Tuberculosis has been described as "a human tragedy" by a senior UN health official.

The disease still kills 1.5 million people and affects nine million people around the world every year,

On World TB Day  observed on 24 of March each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for new commitments and action in the global fight against the disease.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The UN health agency says there has been tremendous progress in recent years in the fight against tuberculosis.

It points out that the world is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of reversing the spread of TB by 2015.

However, it adds, more needs to be done to combat the disease.

Dr Mario Raviglione is Director of the Global Tuberculosis Programme at WHO.

“On the occasion of this World TB Day, we need to remind the world that tuberculosis still kills 1.5 million people every year, which means 4000 people every day and affects 9 million people around the world every year. This is something that we call a human tragedy.” (16")

In May 2014, governments at the World Health Assembly agreed on an ambitious 20-year strategy to combat the global TB epidemic between 2016 and 2035.

The strategy sets ambitious targets of a 95% reduction in TB deaths and a 90% reduction in cases by 2035.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

Duration: 1’03″

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