SHG (self-help group) member Parvati visits villages to screen household contacts of all previously and currently diagnosed TB patients to coordinate for testing. Photo credit: FIND & MYRADA/Adithya Shankar

Tuberculosis

We are working to stop people dying from TB because they weren’t diagnosed.

1.6 million

people died from TB in 2021

Nearly 500,000 people

developed drug-resistant TB in 2021

4.6 million

additional TB cases are expected between 2021 and 2025 because of COVID-19

Every year, millions of people with TB are not diagnosed or notified to health systems – resulting in millions of preventable deaths.

In 2021, 10.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.6 million people died from the disease. Close to half a million people developed drug-resistant TB. Most TB cases are found among the urban poor and people living with HIV experience a particularly high burden of TB disease. Improving access to diagnosis remains a key priority to meet the WHO End TB strategy that aims to achieve an 80% reduction in the annual TB deaths by 2030.

COVID-19 has negatively impacted services in most countries with a high burden of TB, and is threatening to reverse global progress in the fight against the disease. TB case notifications declined in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is projected that there will be an additional 4.7 million cases of TB between 2021 and 2025 due to disruptions related to the pandemic.

Our focus is on getting quality TB testing closer to the people who need it.

Morten Ruhwald

Director, TB Programme

Our TB strategy focuses on reducing the diagnostic gap through the development of new tests, especially those that can be used closer to the point of care. We’re also working to strengthen community-based testing, by making more tests available to people in the community, when and where they need them. Through implementing integrated testing strategies for respiratory symptoms we can also help to find the millions of missed TB cases – and improve diagnosis of conditions which may have similar symptoms, like COVID-19.

Working with partners we will deliver:

  • An expanded portfolio of open-access resources for developers of TB diagnostics and implementing countries, including an expanded validation platform for ongoing computer-aided detection (CAD) development and implementation planning
  • Evidence dossiers to support policy evaluation of 5 new TB tests
  • 5 new CE-marked tools for detection of TB and integrated testing strategies, including at least 1 digital diagnostic solution
  • Expanded use of molecular testing for TB through the uptake of new sampling strategies, notably through private sector channels
  • Market interventions for 3 new TB and associated tests to increase affordability.
  • 10 demonstration studies on community, self-sampling and bi-directional screening approaches