LONDON, 18 September 2018: New figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 2018 Global Tuberculosis Report show that while good progress has been made in some high-burden countries, the world remains way off track from reaching the Global Goals target to end TB by 2030. According to the report, released today, there was an estimated 10 million new TB cases worldwide and 1.6 million deaths in 2017, continuing a measly 2% annual decline in the number of people falling ill with TB (incidence) and a 3% decline in people dying from the disease.

Aaron Oxley, RESULTS UK’s Executive Director, said:

“Today’s numbers confirm what we’ve known for years – with millions of cases of TB still missed and too little progress on developing new tools to tackle drug-resistance, we are still losing the fight against TB. But unlike in previous years, world leaders now have the opportunity to radically transform the global response during the first ever UN High Level Meeting on TB.  

This year’s Global TB Report once again rings the alarm bells over a failing global response. However, as countries like South Africa have demonstrated, well-funded public health campaigns can generate real progress and will save millions of lives if rolled out globally.

It’s sadly the 25th anniversary of the ongoing TB public health emergency that was declared by the WHO in 1993. It’s now time for world leaders to step up. During the meeting, member states will pledge to treat 40 million people by 2022. To make that promise a reality, we’ll need Heads of Government to stand at that podium and announce new investments, policy commitments, and demonstrate a new level of political leadership to end the deadliest infectious disease on earth, once and for all.”

Headline findings

  • More than 1-in-3 people with TB are still ‘missing’. In the case of drug-resistant TB, it’s a staggering 71% that go undiagnosed or unreported.
  • In 2017, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with TB. While this is 400,000 fewer cases than in 2016, this is largely due to a re-estimation of TB incidence in South Africa and Indonesia. The annual rate of decline in TB incidence remains at just -2% per annum. In order to reach the 2020 milestones of the End TB Strategy, the rate of decline would need to double to between 4 and 5 %.
  • The number of drug-resistant cases decreased slightly from 600,000 to 558,000 in 2017, but the proportion of extensively-drug resistant cases among these increased from 6.2% to 8.5%.
  • There has been progress:
  • 100,000 more people were diagnosed and reported in 2017, proving that through effective public health campaigns the ‘missing millions’ can be found, treated and cured.
  • Similarly, increased investment in TB research and development had led to initial successes and there are hopes that a breakthrough in prevention, diagnosis and treatment could soon transform the fight against TB fundamentally.
  • Despite this situation, funding for TB programmes has flatlined, with just USD 6.9 billion available for TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment in 2018, representing a shortfall of some USD 3.5 billion against the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to End TB cost projection of USD $10.4 billion for 2018.


If you have any questions or if you’d like to arrange an interview, please contact Tom Maguire at [email protected] or on +44 20 77933970.