Despite decline in deaths, tuberculosis still a global killer

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Regional Tuberculosis Program of PAHO / WHO in Peru. Photo:WHO/PAHO

Although the number of people dying from tuberculosis has dropped by nearly half since 1990, the disease killed more than one million people last year.

That's according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) which highlights the need to close gaps in detection, treatment and funding.

Dianne Penn reports.

The report shows that although the fight against tuberculosis is paying off, the disease ranks alongside HIV as a leading cause of death worldwide.

In 2014, 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis, while 1.2 million deaths were attributed to HIV.

Most of those TB deaths could have been prevented, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UN agency is calling for scaled-up services and investment in research to end the epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

WHO said gaps in detection and treatment are particularly serious for people with multidrug-resident TB.

Meanwhile, funding shortfalls of at least US$1.3 billion annually must be resolved to enable research and to develop new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 54″

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