Community activists have described efforts to fight TB globally as shameful. Governments, donors and civil society have all been criticised for not doing enough to prevent and fight tuberculosis.

This has emerged at the TB 2018 conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands ahead of the 22nd International Aids Conference which starts Monday.

The TB conference is held under the theme “Bridging the TB and HIV communities”. TB is curable and yet it continues to kill millions of people globally each year.

Indian Community activist, Blessi Kumar says, “With 4 600 deaths each day globally, our response, I’m sorry to say is shameful. The number of people who are dying is far more than natural disasters that happen. I was reading up about the tsunami recently and the deaths from TB are like 6 tsunamis every year. It’s like 13 jumbo jets crashing every day but I don’t think our response matches that.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation estimates that more than 400 000 people are newly infected with TB in SA each year and over one hundred thousand of them are not diagnosed.