Staying at home due to lockdown may push millions of people to get contracted to tuberculosis.
Up to 6.3 million more people are predicted to develop TB between now and 2025 and 1.4 million more people are expected to die as cases go undiagnosed and untreated during lockdown. This will set back global efforts to end TB by five to eight years.
There is currently no TB vaccine for adults, only one for children.
Rejecting over-reaction centering coronavirus, Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership said, “The fear we have in the community is that researchers are heading towards just developing a vaccine for Covid. That’s on the agenda of everyone now and very few remain focused on the others [diseases]. We don’t have a vaccine for TB, we don’t have a vaccine for HIV, we don’t have a vaccine for malaria and out of all this, TB is the oldest. So why this reaction? I think because we are a world of idiots. What can I say?”
TB kills 1.5 million people a year, more than any other infectious disease. Five years ago, world leaders pledged to end the TB epidemic by 2030. At a high-level meeting in 2018, they promised to scale up their response, including doubling funding by 2022.