The World Health Organization said the number of deaths from tuberculosis has increased for the first time in more than a decade. Thursday.
why it matters: The data underscores the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic in tackling other, preventable diseases around the world.
running news: The WHO said the rise in tuberculosis deaths is largely due to fewer people being tested and treated for the disease, as the health care system focuses on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “This report confirms our fears that disruption to essential health services due to the pandemic could begin to highlight years of progress against tuberculosis,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. Statement.
By numbers: Tuberculosis caused nearly 1.5 million deaths globally in 2020, a slight increase from the total number of deaths in 2019, when 1.4 million died, AP reports.
- The WHO also said that fewer people were diagnosed with TB in 2020, with 5.8 million diagnoses in 2020 compared to 7.1 million in 2019.
- The global agency said an estimated 4 million people suffer from TB but have not yet been diagnosed.
What are they saying: “This is alarming news that should serve as a global wake-up call for the urgent need for investment and innovation to close the gaps in diagnosis, treatment and care for the millions of affected people,” Tedros said.
go in: Epidemic disruption of key health processes could prove fatal