Global Plan to fight TB

Prelims level : Health Mains level : Paper – II Global groupings & agreements involving India.
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  • UN member-states agreed on a global plan to step up the fight against tuberculosis, the world’s number one killer among infectious diseases, settling a row with the United States over access to cheap drugs.
  • Following weeks of tough negotiations, the text of a final declaration won approval and will be formally adopted at the first-ever TB summit on Sept 26, on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.


  • At the summit world leaders will  commit to end the tuberculosis  epidemic  by 2030 and come up with US$13 billion annually to achieve that goal, according to the 53-point final declaration.
  • An additional US$2 billion will be spent globally to fund tuberculosis research — up from US$700 million currently.
  • In July,  South  Africa  clashed  with  the  United  States  over  proposals  to  water  down language recognising the right of poorer countries to access cheaper medicines.
  • The contested language referred to the so-called TRIPS trade arrangements dealing with intellectual property rights.
  • A compromise was reached that strengthened references to TRIPS.
  • Last year,  the  World  Health  Organisation  (WHO)  sounded  the  alarm  when  it  said tuberculosis  had  surpassed  HIV/AIDS  as  the  world’s  number  one  infectious  killer  and was the ninth cause of death worldwide. About 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016 out of 10.4 million worldwide who became ill from the severe lung infection, according to the WHO.
  • Five countries are the hardest-hit by the TB pandemic: India, which accounts for a quarter of cases, Indonesia, China, the Philippines and Pakistan.
  • THE intervention  of  world  leaders  is  urgently  needed  to  contain  TB  as  the  number  of antibiotic-resistant cases continues to rise.
  • Heads of  state  have  to  show  up  at  the  UN  high-level  meeting  on  TB  and  exercise  their rights  to  protect  public  health  over  drug  company  profits  and  scale  up  effective  and affordable, generic versions of expensive patented drug-resistant TB medicines.


  • Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB).Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.
  • Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis.
  • Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in Their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. People with latent TB do not spread the disease.
  • Treatment requires the use of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem with increasin grates of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).
  • Presently, one-quarter of the world’s population is thought to be infected with New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year. In 2016, there were more than 10 million cases of active TB which resulted in 1.3 million deaths.
  • This makes it the number one cause of death from an infectious disease. More than 95% of deaths occurred  in developing  countries,  and more than 50% in India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the The number of new cases each year has decreased since 2000.
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