A TB patient receives a daily injection at National Institute of Diseases of Chest and Hospital Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Road to a TB-Free World

Despite being preventable and curable, tuberculosis infects more than ten million people each year and is the most common cause of death by an infectious agent in modern times. The international community needs to take five specific actions to eliminate the scourge of TB once and for all.

GENEVA – When Mabruka was 18, she came home from school one day and started coughing up blood. She had been feeling sick for about two months, and when she went to a health clinic, she described symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, night sweats, chills, loss of appetite, and pain when breathing and coughing. Mabruka was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and prescribed a daily regimen of 9-10 pills. The treatment lasted six months, and during that time she could not attend school.

Shockingly, Mabruka’s experience was almost the same as that of someone contracting TB in the 1950s, when the first treatments were discovered. Owing to a lack of therapeutic innovation since then, poor living conditions, and widespread poverty, millions of people around the world are still being deprived of their right to live free of TB.

More than ten million people contract the disease each year. Despite being preventable and curable, it is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, and the most common cause of death by an infectious agent in modern times.

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