UK TB Voices: The Story Behind the Statistics depicts the personal stories of individuals affected by TB in the UK, and calls on the UK Government to form a national strategy for TB and highlights the need for a coordinated international response to the disease.
The report, published by RESULTS UK, TB Alert, TB Action Group and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB explores TB in the UK through the first-person accounts of five ex-TB patients and one of the UK’s leading clinicians. The sometimes shocking accounts offer unique insight into the terrible impact of TB in the UK, the harshness of anti-TB drugs and their associated side-effects and the challenges of keeping patients on treatment. In the report’s foreword, Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, highlighted the: “compelling case for the long-term and sustained action needed to improve prevention, detection and diagnosis of cases and ensure treatment completion.”
The report offers a number of policy recommendations and calls on the UK Government to introduce a National Strategy on TB that will drive a patient-centred approach to TB treatment and ensure an appropriate balance of clinical and social care for the disease.
The report makes several other key recommendations, notably the need to introduce a mechanism to ensure coordination across the UK Government’s TB interventions and the importance of tackling the disease internationally, stating: “The only certain way to eliminate TB as a public health threat in the UK is to drastically reduce the number of cases worldwide. This requires financing, but also global leadership…The 8.6 million people around the world who contract TB every year need the UK Government to take the lead in addressing the TB epidemic.”