Tuberculosis during the pandemic

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Tuberculosis (TB), despite being preventable and curable, was the world’s leading infectious disease killer before the pandemic, which has only gotten worse this past year and will further worsen without counter-measures. In 2019 alone, 1.4 million people including 230,000 children died of TB.

Tuberculosis (TB), despite being preventable and curable, was the world’s leading infectious disease killer before the pandemic, which has only gotten worse this past year and will further worsen without counter-measures. In 2019 alone, 1.4 million people including 230,000 children died of TB. TB is becoming more fatal and difficult to treat with available drugs because of TB’s growing resistance to our drugs. In Canada, there are 290 times more TB patients in Inuit communities than in non-indigenous communities due to poor policy implementations. Resources normally used to fight TB have been diverted to respond to COVID-19 making it more difficult to diagnose TB and harder for TB patients to access essential healthcare.
TB-affected people are in desperate need of hope, support, and solutions now more than ever. TB REACH, founded in 2010, supports community-led initiatives globally. Canada has been a global supporter and leader in the fight to end TB and a leading investor in TB REACH. To mitigate the devastating impacts COVID has on TB-affected people, Canada must maintain its investment in TB REACH by committing $85 million over five years. We must support the fight to end TB and not let past progresses unravel.

Zohra Khatoon
OTTAWA