Last year, 3 million of the 9 million people who fell ill with TB didn’t receive the care they needed. These ‘missing 3 million’ make up the majority of people who die from this curable disease. It is them more than anyone who TB Alert exists to help.
Many of the missing 3 million do not reach health services at all. They may have low awareness of TB, or they may experience the stigma the disease still carries. They may not know how to seek care, or they may be hindered by issues like poverty and conflict. Others may seek help from health services that are simply not equipped to provide them with an accurate diagnosis or the right treatment.
This is why nationally and internationally TB Alert works to:
- raise public and professional awareness about TB and support patients through their treatment
- form partnerships between health services, voluntary organisations and people affected by TB, to plan and deliver better TB services
- advocate for the policy and resources to improve patient care and prevent the spread of TB.
Despite the delay, I eventually received the medication I needed. So many people in other countries cannot get lifesaving drugs, and that is just heartbreaking. It is comforting to know that TB Alert is working to improve access to diagnosis and treatment.
Sophie Watkins, UK, treated for TB in 2014