Tuberculosis (TB) is a complex disease that still affects over 10 million people worldwide every year. The causes and drivers of TB such as poverty, undernutrition, stigma and inadequate healthcare infrastructure limit individuals and communities in being able to access effective diagnostic tests and treatments for TB. A lack of political will and funding for TB research and development is further impeding progress to end TB by 2030.

Addressing the social and economic complexities of TB requires an equity approach that integrates healthcare within broader efforts to tackle poverty, inequality, stigma and structural barriers to health access. Governments have a responsibility to prioritise health equity by adopting a whole of society approach. By valuing health as a global public good to benefit all people, the planet and the economy, and ensure no one is left behind.

The UN political declaration on TB specifically calls for “relevant stakeholders to pursue actions to end tuberculosis and leave no one behind through whole of society and whole of government approaches”. To accelerate progress to end TB we must develop policies and interventions that target the root causes of TB, in addition to medical interventions. 

This report presents the case for adopting a whole of society approach to ending TB. The report provides recommendations for governments, policymakers and national TB programmes around the world, focused on addressing the underlying social causes of TB alongside curing the physical disease.