Every year, Tuberculosis kills more than 1.7 million people worldwide. This “disease of poverty” is most prevalent in the poorest of countries -- it keeps people from working, stifles economic opportunity and tears at the fabric of societies.
On this World Tuberculosis Day, the United States reaffirms its commitment to fighting this deadly disease. We are supporting programs that are saving lives and fostering a more secure world. We are the first and largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. And across the federal government -- from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development − we have made this fight a priority. In collaboration with existing TB programs and our partners throughout the world, the United States is uncovering new knowledge on prevention and treatment strategies; upgrading laboratory infrastructures; training the next generation of researchers and health care providers; and introducing new diagnostic and treatment tools. We are reducing mortality among mothers, children and families by promoting innovation and strengthening health systems.
I encourage everyone -- nations, organizations, institutions, and citizens across the globe -- to join us in our fight against TB. We must redouble our efforts toward stopping the spread of this disease, and recommit ourselves to tackling this 9,000 year old scourge that drains the life and saps the potential of so many.