Recruiting Leaders for a TB-Free World

Samantha Swamy

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day falls on March 24, 2018, and is an occasion in which to remember how far we have come in our fight against this preventable and curable infectious disease. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that over the past 15 years, the number of TB deaths worldwide has fallen by 47 percent, which means that 50 million lives have been saved since 2000. The United States reported 9,093 cases of TB in 2017, which is the lowest number of cases on record. This low infection rate is due to the tireless efforts of local TB control programs that find and treat people with TB disease in order to stop the cycle of transmission. TB control also spurs economic growth as the CDC reports that every dollar spent on TB results in a $43 economic benefit to society.

TB research and control in the U.S. have shown promising results, but on this World TB Day, the CDC is joining forces with researchers and scientists from countries around the world to eliminate TB altogether. Their scientists are working on expanding access to better screening and diagnostic tools in developing countries while working in tandem with other countries to reduce drug resistant TB. This September, members of the United Nations will convene to discuss how to end the TB epidemic, and CDC scientists will join with world leaders to address the urgency of efforts for TB elimination and the tools for doing so.

Ending the TB epidemic will require work, science and resources, but it will also require public support. The CDC is encouraging citizens to familiarize themselves with facts and information about preventing TB and become leaders in their communities. Through continued collaboration between scientists, legislators and the public, public health experts believe the goal to end TB can become a reality.

To read the CDC report, click here.

Samantha Swamy is a Communications Intern with Research!America.

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco