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Ending the TB Epidemic

World TB Day 2017

Update! Read this blog post from Waiswa Nkwanga, "Fight TB through education," and share with your friends.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is thousands of years old and that killed, among others in the 18th and 19th centuries, American presidents and some of our most revered composers and poets. It is also the 21st century’s leading infectious killer and close to two million people die every year from TB.

Underinvestment in research, lack of political will, and overall lack of attention to the disease have resulted in the world’s reliance on ineffective vaccines, outmoded diagnostic tools, and impractical treatment regimens for those suffering from the disease. It has also led to a growing crisis for both wealth and poor nations:  TB is now regarded as “the poster child” for antibiotic resistance.

Photo Credit: RESULTS Canada

Drug-resistant TB is a serious threat to global public health

As TB continues to mutate into one of the world’s greatest superbugs, treating the disease is becoming more difficult, heightening the risk of uncontrollable spread of the disease and more people dying.

In 2015, there were an estimated 580,000 cases of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), representing 5.6 percent of the number of drug resistance cases globally. As the only drug-resistant infection that is spread through the air, DR-TB should be prominent in the world’s response to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

In 2015, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR Review) found that by 2050, drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year. DR-TB will account for 25 percent of these deaths and cost the global economy a cumulative US$16.7 trillion between 2015 and 2050 — the equivalent to the entire current economic output of the European Union

It is time to end tuberculosis and the G20, which is meeting in Hamburg, Germany, this July, must be the “bullseye” for such an effort.

G20 countries currently account for 54 percent of the world’s DR-TB cases and will face the majority of future costs to combat drug resistance. There is a clear moral and economic imperative to act. We are calling on G20 countries to commit to fund new research into the development of better drugs and treatment regimens to treat TB.


Take Action

There will be thousands of events and activities around the world organized on World TB Day and even more going on online. You can also take action with the resources below.

Get involved in your country

Join RESULTS Australia:  Download their “Storytelling for social change” action sheet and learn how to tell your story in a letter (to the editor or your MP) or in a conversation. “Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader's arsenal,” said Howard Gardner, and you can tell yours to help make a fair and generous Australia.

Join RESULTS UK:  The world is waking up to the threat of AMR. The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to galvanize action. We must now ensure that the world’s response is up to the scale of AMR and has TB eradication at its heart. This month, please start to organize an event around World TB Day to help launch their new campaign, “The Drugs Don’t Work.” Invite your MP along, telling them about the dangers of AMR and drug-resistant TB.

Join KANCO in Kenya:  "Mulika TB! Maliza TB!" The National Tuberculosis Leprosy and Lung Disease program and partners are hosting the “Kenya Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey Launch” (click on the Kenya pin) on World TB Day at Sarova Panafric in Nairobi. The Ministry of Health TB Program will be launching the prevalence survey report, which is the first to be conducted in Kenya since independence.

Join CITAM+ in Zambia:  Learn how CITAM+ is advocating to end TB and save lives through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Share this video from celebrations of World TB Day in Zambia last year.

Join RESULTS Canada:  MP Brenda Shanahan has just returned from Berlin where she participated in the G20 Parliamentary Summit on TB. Send her a thank you for her global parliamentary work to engage the G20 on TB (Twitter: @BShanahanLib and #P20). You can also reach out to your local MP and encourage them to attend the multi-party Global Health Caucus on HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria Parliamentary Reception ‘Science Showcase’ on April 5th in Ottawa. Learn more.

Join RESULTS US:  If you are in DC, join RESULTS US for briefings in the Senate and House this week:

  • Tuesday, March 21, 12:00–1:30pm:  Senate lunch briefing, "TB kills 5000 a day — What are the solutions?" RSVP to: dbryden@results.org.
  • Friday, March 24, 12:00–1:30pm:  House lunch briefing, "Tuberculosis:  The Leading Global Infectious Killer." RSVP to: dcrsvp@thoracic.org.

Let decision-makers know!

G20 leaders, at their upcoming meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in July, must show clear understanding of the gravity of the situation by committing to fund new research into the development of better drugs and treatment regimens to treat TB.

Let your government leaders know that we need to prioritize tuberculosis (TB) in the G20 agenda.

Share the word with your network

We have prepared sample social media posts and shareable images for Twitter and Facebook, documentary short videos from TB survivors and researchers telling their stories, and beautifully written op-eds from ACTION Media Champions who share how TB has affected their life. Use these hashtags next week when you post on social media:

  • World TB Day: #WTBD2017, #UniteToEndTB
  • G20:  #G20, #G20Germany
  • Tuberculosis:  #Tuberculosis, #EndTB, #AMR, #DeadlyDuo (when TB-HIV is issue)
  • Others:  #AMRreview #AntiMicrobialResistance, #Antibiotics, #AntibioticResistance, #globalhealth

Be active on social media

Download our social media shareables (images) for Twitter and Facebook or use these sample posts below.

Before March 23rd
World Tuberculosis Day is Friday, March 24th. Visit our #WTBD2017 page to take action #endTB http://www.action.org/
It’s time to end tuberculosis. Visit our #WTBD2017 page to take action #endTB http://www.action.org/
Drug-resistant TB is a serious threat to global public health. Visit our #WTBD2017 page to take action #endTB http://www.action.org/
Immediate action is required to stop DR-TB. Tell #G20 to take action on #WTBD2017 #endTB http://www.action.org/
The #G20 must be the “bullseye” for effort to #endTB and AMR. Visit our #WTBD2017 page to take action http://www.action.org/

On March 23rd and 24th
4 of 5 countries with highest expected # of DR-TB deaths are G20 countries http://www.action.org/
G20 countries currently account for 54% of the world’s DR-TB cases http://www.action.org/
The #G20 must be the “bullseye” for effort to #endTB and AMR. Visit our #WTBD2017 page to take action http://www.action.org/
Tell #G20 to make DR-TB a priority #WTBD2017 #UniteToEndTB http://www.action.org/
#G20 must show clear understanding of gravity of DR-TB, commit to fund new research #WTBD2017 #UniteToEndTB http://www.action.org/
Tell #G20 to fund new research into development of better drugs, treatment regimens to #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/
#G20 provide majority of public funding for medical research #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/
#G20 are home to the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/
TB continues to mutate into one of the world’s greatest superbugs #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/
Spread of DR-TB heightens the risk of uncontrollable spread of TB, more people dying #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/
In 2015: 580k cases of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/
TB is the drug-resistant infection spread through the air #endTB #WTBD2017 http://www.action.org/

Watch and share these documentary shorts

It’s Tough Taking Tuberculosis Medication

Timpiyian Leseni, a Maasai from Kenya, talks about the stress of taking medication after she contracted Zoonotic TB, a form of the disease transmitted through food. Watch now!

Fighting Tuberculosis Must Be A Genuine Collective Effort

Timur Abdullaev, a tuberculosis (TB) survivor and public health and human rights consultant from Uzbekistan, thought his persistent cough was due to his heavy smoking so he kicked the habit. Watch now!

The World Needs Sustained Political Will To Fight Tuberculosis

Vivian Cox MD, a HIV-TB doctor in South Africa, talks about the looming emergency of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) — especially drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). Watch now!

Join Stop TB Partnership’s World TB Day 2017 campaign

Download their guidelines for communities and shareables (images) for social media. They have GIFs that dispel myths about TB and banners for Twitter and Facebook that you can use on your accounts.

Make over your Twitter and Facebook profile image using STBP’s Twibbon makeover campaign.

Add your event to the STBP event map! There is so much going on around the world for #WTBD2017, and it would be great to have you add your information to their map to. Here is the form to add your event.

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