World TB day was last week, March 24, 2009.
According to the Stop TB Partnership, tuberculosis caused the deaths of more than 450,000 persons with AIDS in 2007, two times more than previously estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS). Approximately 9 million people are affected by TB annually, with over 1.5 million dying from the disease each year.
Here is the WHO fact sheet on TB.
This week, health leaders are meeting in Beijing at a meeting organized by WHO, China’s health ministry and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The meeing is focused on drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Today, our local paper ran a version of this story, in which the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan calls for serious action against drug-resistant TB, noting that if left unaddressed, the situation will soon become explosive.
What's going on here? What are the economic reasons for this sudden resurgence in a disease for which we've had a proper cure for decades?