GENEVA, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Delegates from 114 countries have agreed take urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, by quickly achieving universal health coverage and sufficient, sustainable financing, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
The announcement came as the delegates gathered in Moscow for the first WHO global ministerial conference on ending tuberculosis.
The delegates promised to achieve strengthen health systems and improve access to people regarding TB prevention and care, so that no one is left behind.
They also agreed to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through increased domestic and international investments to close gaps in implementation and research.
Resources are expected to advance research and development of new tools to diagnose, treat, and prevent TB, and to build accountability through a framework to track and review progress on ending TB.
"Today marks a critical landmark in the fight to end TB," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "It signals a long overdue global commitment to stop the death and suffering caused by this ancient killer."
Though global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37 percent, progress in many countries has stalled, global targets are off-track, and persistent gaps remain in TB care and prevention, according to the WHO.
As a result, TB still kills more people than any other infectious disease. Due to its antimicrobial resistance, TB is also the leading killer of people with HIV.
Representatives at the meeting, which was attended by more than 1,000 participants, also promised to minimize the risk and spread of drug resistance and do more to engage people and communities affected by or at risk of TB.