World TB Day 2019

Updates from the CDC Center for Global Health

March 22, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

One hundred thirty-six years after the discovery of the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), the global community has declared its intention to transform our approach to ending TB. It’s time, on this World TB Day, armed with new tools and new and renewed commitments, to move beyond incrementalism and drive down the burden of this ancient disease by finding, curing, and preventing all forms of TB.

In September 2018, Heads of State and health leaders from across the globe attended the first-ever United Nations High-Level meeting on TB, which brought unprecedented visibility and political attention to the long-time fight against TB. At this historic meeting, 120 countries signed a political declaration committing to accelerating the global TB response and eliminating TB by 2030. The Declaration committed these countries to working together to ensure that 40 million people receive TB diagnosis and treatment. Countries committed to reach an additional 30 million people – including people living with HIV (PLHIV), children and household contacts – with TB Preventive Treatment (TPT) by 2022. Countries also committed to mobilizing sustainable financing and implementing a multi-sectoral accountability framework.

The world has learned in the six decades we have had a cure for TB that treating disease is simply not enough. While we continue to develop new and better tools and approaches to find and cure this disease, we must also prevent TB, particularly among the most vulnerable, and interrupt the cycle of transmission. We know that without addressing all forms of TB on all fronts, we won’t be able to reach our ambitious global targets. By pairing prevention with efforts to cure, both at home and abroad, we can end TB in our lifetime.

CDC led a call to action for this integrated cure and prevent approach during the United Nations High Level Meeting on TB, sponsoring the event Preventing TB to End TB with the CDC Foundation, and co-hosting with the other key US agencies. This event brought together government leaders from India, South Africa, and the United States, representatives from the world’s leading multilateral institutions, and prominent clinicians and advocates to speak about the importance of prevention in ending TB and reaching the ambitious targets outlined in the TB political declaration.

Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC is on the forefront of efforts to accelerate uptake of TPT and to rapidly expand this life-saving intervention. CDC is providing technical direction and support to PEPFAR’s accelerated TPT scale-up among PLHIV, which will provide all 14.6 million PLHIV receiving antiretroviral treatment through PEPFAR a course of TPT in the next 3 years. CDC is directly supporting the scale-up of TPT to prevent TB disease among PLHIV and children Cdc-pdfin more than 15 PEPFAR-supported programs.

More broadly, CDC will continue to play a key role in the global response to TB by bringing our scientific expertise and unique public health program know-how and proven track record in building sustainable TB and HIV programs, and in directing the strategic use of data to increase the impact and effectiveness of programs and to drive quality TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention programs for those in need. CDC will continue to develop and deploy innovative approachesCdc-pdf to TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for all forms of TB among adults and children.

CDC and the global community have learned so much from fighting diseases. We know that utilization of data and rapid, continuous quality improvement is possible and can dramatically improve outcomes and increase impact. We commit to and request that you join us in applying these lessons to global TB.

On this World TB Day, CDC’s world-class scientists are reaffirming our mission to find, cure, and prevent all forms of TB. Following a year of visibility, progress, and commitments, it is fitting that the theme for this year’s World TB Day 2019 is “It’s Time.”

It’s time to transform our words into bold action.

It’s time to raise our expectations and to hold ourselves and each other accountable.

It’s time for governments, civil society, academicians, and people living with and affected by TB to work collectively to meet our shared high expectations.

It’s time to achieve more than we ever have and to meaningfully accelerate progress by working together.

It’s time to unite to End TB in our lifetime.


/Rebecca Martin/
Rebecca Martin, PhD
Director, Center for Global Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

/Hank Tomlinson/
Hank Tomlinson, PhD
Director, Division of Global HIV & TB
Center for Global Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Page last reviewed: March 22, 2019
Content source: Global Health