Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda “Health and well-being”: something is wrong, tuberculosis is back
He knows that the tuberculosis is coming back. A subject that has to do with Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda “Health and well-being”. Impakter Italy it wants to be the tool by which to always transmit positive news on its mission, its raison d’être which is sustainable development. But right now the news is not good – can a world be sustainable where some believe war is a way to solve problems? – and some concern us directly even if we Europeans have learned over the years to consider it as a fact now belonging to what is called the Third World.
Tuberculosis is on the rise. In Europe, in Italy, in the western world, as in Africa and the Middle East. The figures illustrate this landscape to date: Tuberculosis kills more than 4,100 lives every day, and nearly 28,000 people fall ill after being infected – despite the fact that 66 million lives have been saved since 2000.
Note before continuing: Europeans were considered to be the first exporters of this disease, in America for example thanks to the strong migratory flows towards the New World.
Although tuberculosis is preventable and treatable, it remains one of the deadliest infectious killers in the world is written in a note from the WHO, the World Health Organization which pointed out that global expenditure on diagnostics, treatments and prevention of TB in 2020 were less than half of the annual global target of $13 billion. For research and development, an additional $1.1 billion is needed annually.
“Urgent investments are needed to develop and expand access to the most innovative services and tools to prevent, detect and treat TB that could save millions of lives each year, reduce inequalities and avert huge economic losses. These investments offer huge returns for countries and donors, in terms of avoided health costs and increased productivity.said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Conflicts increase deaths
The need for global action is more urgent than ever, WHO said, as the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress in preventing TB transmission, meaning that for the first time for more than a decade, deaths from tuberculosis have increased in 2020.
Conflicts in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have made vulnerable populations more vulnerable to TB, highlighting the need to ensure that commitments made by world leaders to end TB are honored .
“Investments in TB programs have shown benefits not only for people with TB, but also for health systems and pandemic preparedness“, argue those of the WHO. “Building on lessons learned from COVID-19 research, there is a need to catalyze investments and actions to accelerate the development of new tools, especially new TB vaccines.“Progress towards current TB targets, including the WHO Director-General’s ‘Find.Treat.All’ agenda, is at risk primarily due to lack of funding.
The situation in Italy is summarized in these few lines, taken from a document from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, entitled:Tuberculosis in Italy: an ongoing pathology: ” Tuberculosis (TB) in Italy is only mentioned when new outbreaks occur. In fact, since the 1950s, the incidence of new cases of tuberculosis has decreased considerably in Italy as in many Western European countries. As a result, attention to the problem, degree of diagnostic suspicion, and specialist skills have become less prevalent.THowever, in our country there are still more than 4,000 new cases of tuberculosis per year: a figure which, if on the one hand classifies Italy among the countries with low endemia, on the other hand it continues to represent a health reality that requires operator training, prevention strategies and control activities “
Between 2018 and 2020, 20 million people worldwide received treatment for tuberculosis. This is halfway to the five-year goal ending in 2022. During the same period, 8.7 million people received preventive treatment for tuberculosis. This is only 29% of the goal of reaching 30 million from 2018 to 2022.
The situation is even worse for children and adolescents with TB, the WHO has warned. In 2020, an estimated 63% of children and young adolescents with TB have not been seen or have not been officially reported as having access to life-saving TB diagnostic and treatment services.
The proportion was even higher (72%) for children under five, according to the UN health agency, which said nearly two-thirds of eligible children under five did not receive preventive treatment against tuberculosis and therefore remain at risk of becoming ill.