Much effort and money has been spent to fight Ebola of late. This is a scary, deadly virus that has, however, affected a remarkable few compared with the millions that die every year from such diseases as tuberculosis. Below is a short excerpt from an email I receive daily. Tuberculosis is an insidious disease that kills readily. It should be eradicated. It requires a concerted worldwide effort and billions of dollars to do so.
WHO: Nine million people developed TB in 2013.
CNN (10/23, Wilson) reports, “On Wednesday, the World Health Organization released its 2014 Global Tuberculosis Report, which shows that 9 million people developed tuberculosis in 2013 and 1.5 million died, making it one of the world’s deadliest communicable diseases.”
TIME (10/23, Frizell) adds that, of the nine million cases, TB’s death toll was “1.5 million people in 2013, including 360,000 people who were HIV positive.”
NBC News (10/23, Fox) reports that despite the high prevalence of the infectious disease, “companies and countries alike are actually cutting their investments in TB.” The WHO says “$8 billion is needed each year to find and treat patients and to invest in better drugs and work on a vaccine,” but each year there is a $2 billion shortfall in funding. Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the global TB program at WHO, told reporters “the pharmaceutical industry is less interested in developing countries, where the potential gains are limited.”