Tuberculosis kills more than 1.7 million people every year, making it a leading world-wide cause of infectious disease deaths. TB is both a disease of poverty − with transmission rates higher in over-crowded conditions − and a contributor to poverty. It destroys families, undermines economic opportunity, and holds back progress.
On this World Tuberculosis Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to tackle this deadly disease together.
The U.S. is a leader in the global effort to battle TB. We support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. And across the federal government − from PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to the U.S. Agency for International Development, which assists TB programs in 40 countries − we have made this fight a priority.
President Obama’s Global Health Initiative will build on these efforts, forging partnerships to improve outcomes for patients and develop stronger, more sustainable, more accessible health systems around the world.
So I encourage everyone − nations, organizations, institutions, citizens everywhere − to join us in renewing the commitment to combat TB. Together, we can make progress toward ending this global scourge.
Thank you very much.