WHO announced an increase in mortality from tuberculosis due to failures in health systems

In 2022, tuberculosis remained the world’s second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, after COVID-19. A record number of newly diagnosed cases were reported.

Mortality from tuberculosis in the world increased by almost 500 thousand cases in 2020–2022 due to disruptions in health care systems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such estimates are given in the report of the World Health Organization, TASS reports.

According to WHO, 10.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis in 2022 (for comparison: in 2021 – 10.3 million, and in 2020 – 10 million). Last year, tuberculosis remained the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent after COVID-19.

Global goals to combat tuberculosis have not been achieved, the organization admitted. There were 7.5 million newly diagnosed cases in 2022, the highest number since 1995, when WHO began global TB monitoring. At the same time, mortality has decreased by 19% over seven years – last year tuberculosis caused approximately 1.3 million deaths.

In 2022, $5.8 billion was allocated worldwide for the provision of services for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis, which is below the pre-pandemic level. About half of patients and their families face “catastrophic” treatment costs and indirect costs exceeding 20% ​​of annual household income, experts say. “There are significant economic and financial barriers to accessing and completing tuberculosis treatment that need to be addressed by accelerating progress towards universal health coverage and strengthening social protection,” the WHO report noted.

The organization expects a return to the pre-pandemic decline in incidence in 2023 or 2024.

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