COVID-19 may set us back 5-8 years in the global fight against TB

May 06, 2020

New Report Shows Devastating Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on TB Response:

6.3 Million More People Ill with TB and 1.4 Million More TB Deaths by 2025

Length of quarantine, movement restrictions and disruption of TB services could spell disaster for hundreds of thousands at risk

GENEVA (May 6, 2020)—A new report released today finds that the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic is having unintended yet drastic consequences on tuberculosis (TB) services, with lockdowns and limitations on diagnosis, treatment and prevention services expected to increase the annual number of TB cases and deaths over the next five years; at least five years of progress on TB response will be lost. The modeling analysis released by the Stop TB Partnership shows that under a three-month lockdown and a protracted 10-month restoration of services, the world could see an additional 6.3 million cases of TB between 2020 and 2025 and an additional 1.4 million TB deaths during that same period.

The new study was commissioned by the Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with the Imperial College, Avenir Health and Johns Hopkins University, and was supported by USAID. The modeling was constructed on assumptions drawn from a rapid assessment done by The Stop TB Partnership on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures on the TB response in 20 high-burden TB countries—representing 54% of the global TB burden. The modeling focused on three high burden countries—India, Kenya, and Ukraine—and extrapolated estimates from those countries to create global estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on TB. The authors note that the model can be replicated in any other country and that the findings can be used by countries for data-driven decisions and financial requests.

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