GENEVA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Wednesday that world leaders had committed to ensure that 40 million people with tuberculosis (TB) receive care by end 2022, and to provide 30 million people with preventive treatment against the disease.
Heads of state and government attending the first-ever UN High-level meeting on TB in New York on Wednesday agreed to mobilize 13 billion U.S. dollars a year by 2022 to implement TB prevention and care, and two billion dollars for research, according to the WHO.
They also committed to take firm action against drug-resistant forms of the disease; build accountability and to prioritize human rights issues such as the stigma that still prevails around TB in many parts of the world.
"Today is a landmark in the long war on TB," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "These are bold promises -- to keep them partnership is vital. WHO is committed to working with every country, every partner and every community to get the job done."
World leaders at the meeting acknowledged that the current rate of progress was endangering prospects of meeting global targets to end TB, which remains the world's deadliest infectious disease that killed 1.6 million people in 2017, including 300,000 people with HIV. Another 10 million people fell ill with TB in the same year.
"The political declaration proposed for this meeting sets a roadmap for accelerated action to end TB in line with the vision and targets for 2030," said Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, president of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.
"We have before us the opportunity for a clear win -- a chance to save the lives of millions, to preserve billions in resources, to demonstrate the success of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to reaffirm the utility, efficacy and necessity of multilateralism and the UN System. Let us not miss this opportunity."
The political declaration is the culmination of recent leadership commitments at global and regional level, including the 2017 Moscow Declaration to End TB, to drive universal access, sufficient and sustainable financing, intensified research and innovation, and accountability across all sectors.