Launch of the Global Alliance to End Tuberculosis (GATETB)
With the arrival of better technologies, such as GeneXpert, diagnosing TB, enrolling TB patients into treatment and continuation of treatment to cure have greatly improved. In the Nigerian TB/HIV program, enrollment is still below the nationally acceptable level, as TB still claims three lives every minute. 4,400 people are infected every single day. In 2014, 9 million people were infected with TB, of which 1.5 million died. Of over 9 million people that become infected every year, 3 million cases are not diagnosed, treated or documented. TB remains the leading cause of death among people infected by HIV.
We can reverse the trend!
- Tuberculosis is a major public health burden in the world and is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
- India accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s TB cases and deaths.
- There were an estimated 10.4 million incident TB cases worldwide in 2015, of which 5.9 million (56%) were among men, 3.5 million (34%) among women and 1.0 million (10%) among children.
- People living with HIV accounted for 1.2 million (11%) of all new TB cases.
- Six countries accounted for 60% of the incident cases: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.
- The rate of decline in TB incidence remained at only 1.5% from 2014 to 2015.
- In 2015, there were an estimated 480 000 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB and an additional 100 000 people with rifampicin-resistant TB who were also newly eligible for MDR-TB treatment.
- India, China and the Russian Federation accounted for 45% of the combined total of 580 000 cases.
- In 2015 there were an estimated 1.4 million TB deaths, and an additional 400,000 deaths resulting from TB disease among people living with HIV.
- TB treatment averted 49 million deaths globally between 2000 and 2015
- Globally there was a 4.3 million gap between incident and notified cases, with India, Indonesia and Nigeria accounting for almost fifty percent of this gap.
Interventions cutting across health care financing, research and active case detection will go a long way in curbing the global disease burden rapidly. In addition, scale up on global surveillance, monitoring and evaluation of the burden of the disease in order to give a true picture of progress made in interventions carried out will drastically aid in combating this disease.
The Global Alliance to End Tuberculosis
To build partnership that will help end tuberculosis, Excellence and Friends Management Care Centre (EFMC), a non-governmental organization based in Abuja Nigeria launched the Global Alliance to End Tuberculosis (GATETB) in October, 2016. GATETB is an alliance of public health leaders, infected and affected Tuberculosis (TB) advocates working to END the global scourge of TB. No one single person can solve the TB problem. The vision of GATETB is "A world free of Tuberculosis: an END to TB deaths, stigma, discrimination and new infections" and GATETB’s mission is "To galvanize global movement to end the TB scourge, free the infected and eliminate death from tuberculosis."
GATETB objectives include to,
- Mobilize people infected and affected by tuberculosis, and leaders towards a world free of latent and active tuberculosis infection;
- Mobilize community involvement in the battle against Tuberculosis;
- Mobilize greater involvement of current and previous patients towards eliminating stigma and discrimination of people affected by Tuberculosis;
- Mobilize increased funding from government and agencies towards tuberculosis services provision, research and development; and
- Mobilize epidemiologists and scientists towards more research towards the discovery and development of new diagnostic kits, less toxic and shorter duration drugs and vaccines for adolescents and young adults.
Key activities of GATETB are
- Advocacy to leaders and funders for increased TB funding and sustainable service provision
- Documentation and sharing of TB information using various media
- Researching and reporting on new discoveries in TB and related infection
- Community mobilization to end TB stigma and discrimination
- Support for improved detection, linkage to care and management of infected individuals, and
- Advocacy to create avenues and systems for achieving universal access to TB care and reduced cost of treatment.
Over the past few months, GATETB has developed internet presence with people from nations of the world joining the alliance. We need each other to make a meaningful difference as we work towards a world free of tuberculosis.
Join us and together, we will bring an end to tuberculosis in our generation.