An information note released recently by the World Health Organisation suggests that if the COVID-19 pandemic led to a global reduction of 25% in expected TB detection for three months – levels of disruption in TB services being observed in multiple countries considered – then we could expect a 13% increase in TB deaths, bringing us back to the levels of TB mortality that we had five years ago. Subsequently, an additional 1.4 million TB deaths could be registered as direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2025. Thus, it is important to ensure that progress made in TB prevention and care is not reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is in this context that the Commission is hosting a roundtable webinar to discuss the political instruments, innovations and resources available to enable people-centred approaches to maintain strong fight against tuberculosis on the continent.
Recommendations extended by the panelists during the webinar were compiled into an information note which can be downloaded here.