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The number of people falling ill with tuberculosis (TB) each year is declining, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the number who die from the disease is at its lowest level in a decade.

The 2011 Global Tuberculosis Control Report assesses current efforts to control the spread of TB and to ensure access to treatment, including for multidrug-resistant TB and TB and HIV co-infection. The report features data from 198 countries, many of which are home to PATH staff and projects.

Fewer new cases, deaths

The report finds the number of people who became ill with TB fell to 8.8 million in 2010 from a high of 9 million in 2005. The number of deaths from TB declined to 1.4 million in 2010, 40 percent lower than ten years ago.

Much of the progress against TB, WHO says, is the result of expanded efforts in large countries, including India, China, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Brazil. The organization warns, however, that progress could be halted by insufficient funding for TB control and treatment.

PATH's work to combat TB

PATH works with global health leaders and partners around the world to expand prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, a curable respiratory disease that infects one-third of the world’s population. With funding from the United States Agency for International Development, we’re working with countries to implement high-quality tuberculosis control programs. Treating and curing people with TB prevents the spread of the disease, strengthens health systems, and improves quality of life for millions.

We are working with partners to bring internationally recommended TB detection and treatment strategies to more people, more effectively. In places with high rates of both TB and HIV, PATH is scaling up efforts to integrate TB and HIV services. We're helping to ensure that millions of people can be treated for both infections. We also use the information we’ve gained in our work to inform global policy and enhance global partnerships in TB control.

More information

Posted October 11, 2011.