Tuberculosis (TB), a communicable disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis stands as the leading cause of death from an infectious disease globally, surpassing even the toll of HIV/AIDS. In the year 2021 alone, an estimated 1.6 million lives were lost to this preventable and curable disease.
In a pivotal moment of global cooperation, the first-ever United Nations High-Level meeting on TB convened in 2018. The United Nations member states united in their commitment to intensify efforts aimed at eradicating the TB epidemic by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the journey towards these goals has encountered significant obstacles, with tangible progress eluding us in all but one goal.
The power of inclusion and collaboration cannot be overstated. A wealth of experiences from around the world has illuminated the transformative impact of actively involving individuals affected by TB, alongside dedicated activists and communities. By embracing this approach, we fortify our endeavors in TB prevention and care, catalyze breakthroughs in research, enhance case detection strategies, establish community-centric health services, ensure robust regulatory frameworks, and guarantee the timely delivery of vital services.
This synergy has been profoundly effective in addressing HIV/AIDS. However, unlike the HIV/AIDS community, the global, regional, and national engagement of TB-affected communities has been limited. Recognizing this gap, the Global Coalition of TB Advocates (GCTA) was founded to bridge this disparity and unite voices on a global scale. Through collaborative efforts and a shared commitment, we strive to make meaningful strides towards eliminating TB.