The Lancet Global Burden of Disease Report and tuberculosis
You may have seen the Gates Foundation-funded Global Burdens of Disease report...
There was some truly earth shaking stuff tucked away in it which hasn't been reported in the media but which we believe deserves much better publicity. We wonder if you agree..
1. The report estimated 1.3 million HIV deaths in 2013 (they believe that UNITAID have overestimated the numbers), and 1.4 million TB deaths in this same period (which is a little more than WHO's estimates). This is of huge significance since it means that HIV has passed back the title of ‘most lethal infectious disease’ to its previous title-holder, tuberculosis. This should surely be waking folk up more to the ongoing threat from TB, and should certainly be being highlighted (if these estimates are correct, and even these may be under-estimations).
2. Furthermore, if you care to wade through to 'fig 13' of the report (on page 27) you'll find something even more alarming. This graph shows that (contrary to all WHO estimates and reports) both prevalence and incidence rates for TB are actually still rising globally (though they do see mortality rates as slightly declining). As you may know, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for TB (which has long been recognised as being unambitious and which was superseded nearly ten years ago by other tougher goals) was simply to 'halt and reverse' it. According to this Lancet report even this meagre ‘halting and reducing’ hasn't yet been achieved 21 years into a global health emergency. If this is true, it represents an appalling and massive failure in public health which should be being talked about in the highest of places. In four simple words, it is a scandal.