Tuberculosis is now the world’s deadliest infectious disease

The Hague, 28 October 2015New data published today by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the ‘2015 Global TB Control Report Update’ show that tuberculosis (TB) killed an estimated 1.5 million people globally in 2014. For the first time since the 1990s more people died from TB than from HIV/AIDS (which took the lives of an estimated 1.2 million living with HIV, 400,000 of whom died as a consequence of TB).

According to the latest WHO estimates 9.6 million people developed TB in 2014 (compared to 9 million new TB patients in 2013), 1.5 million of whom died. The spread of the disease is not increasing, however. The data announced today are based on improved and more precise epidemiological data from a number of large countries. Thanks to effective case detection and treatment the number of people dying from TB has decreased by 47 percent. It is estimated that, as a result, timely treatment of TB has saved a total of 43 million lives since the year 2000.

Frank Cobelens, Chief Scientific Officer at KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation: “The newest WHO data make it clear that tuberculosis is THE ‘forgotten epidemic’ of our era. This is because the impact of the disease is primarily felt in poor countries and among poverty-stricken populations in, for example, the BRICS countries. The enormous death toll is completely unnecessary, because, if identified early enough we can cure the vast majority of people with TB. It is mainly the lack of access to good quality diagnostics and treatment, in other words, the lack of good healthcare that allows this unacceptable situation to prevail.”

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from lungs of people with the active respiratory disease. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics. Today, TB is a leading global killer of HIV-positive people. The Netherlands traditionally play an influential role in international TB control and in scientific research into new tools and methods to eradicate the disease.

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 117 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB control, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

Our experts
KNCV governance framework
Our patroness
Partner with us

Tuberculosis is still one of the major causes of preventable death in the world and claims over 4000 lives a day, leading to over 1,5 million deaths a year.

Patient stories

The story of Abdurahim
The story of Fikeraddis
The story of Issayas
The story of Zarina
The story of Maxine
The story of Saanvi

Address

KNCV Tuberculosefonds
Maanweg 174
2516 AB Den Haag
+31 70 416 7222

OPEN IN GOOGLE MAPS

Postal address

Postbus 146
2501 CC Den Haag

More information

Sorry

De versie van de browser die je gebruikt is verouderd en wordt niet ondersteund.
Upgrade je browser om de website optimaal te gebruiken.