This year saw ambitious strategies launched both in the UK and globally, to help us move closer to ending the TB epidemic. We also saw an increase in TB Alert’s impact, reaching more people and saving more lives.
The END TB strategy was launched by the World Health Organisation to lead the global fight against TB. Its vision is a world with zero deaths or suffering due to the disease. Its targets are that by 2035 there will be a 90% reduction in incidence and 95% fewer deaths. One of the strategy’s four guiding principles is for a “strong coalition with civil society organisations and communities”, which so clearly reflects the ethos and work of TB Alert.
In England, the first national TB strategy was launched, aimed at ultimately eliminating TB as a public health problem in this country. TB Alert has long called for the government to show this kind of leadership, responding to the increased rates we have seen over recent decades. During the last two years TB Alert has played a central role in the development of this strategy, and the implementation plan recognises TB Alert as
leading the involvement of the voluntary and community sector.
To measure the success of these strategies we will look towards clinics and communities around the world and the number of people with TB being found, treated and cured. The work ahead is immense: although global levels of TB are slowly falling, we still face the appalling fact that, of the 9 million people who fall ill with TB each year,
3 million are ‘missed’ by health systems. These people fail to get the life-saving care they so desperately need.
This report tells the story of how TB Alert is working to reach these missing millions. It shows how, alongside our sister organisation TB Alert India and our partners in the UK, Africa and India, we are helping more people to get tested and diagnosed, and supporting them through the long and arduous course of antibiotic treatment. It tells the story of the people whose lives have been saved, of the staff and volunteers who are being trained to provide quality care, and of the communities where TB is being tackled at grassroots.
TB Alert’s work brings together clinicians, caregivers and public health workers; communities, the wider voluntary sector, and donors from all walks of life; and of course people personally affected by TB. As the UK’s national TB charity, we are proud to lead and continue to build this strong coalition in the fight towards a better future, a future without tuberculosis.
Chief Executive, TB Alert