The global fight against tuberculosis is advancing, with this year's death rate nearly half of what it was in 1990. However, the disease is still a public health concern, ranking alongside HIV/AIDS as a major cause of global death, according to the World Health Organization.
Report informs, WHO released the Global Tuberulosis Report 2015 on Wednesday, giving a snapshot of how far the international health community has come in combating TB.
According to the report, close to 1.5 million people died from TB in 2014. By comparison, HIV’s death toll in 2014 was estimated at 1.2 million, according to the WHO.
The report found that most of the gains in combating TB have come since 2000, the year the UN's Millennium Development Goals were established.
Between 2000 and 2015, effective diagnosis and treatment of TB resulted in 43 million lives saved, the report says. Globally, TB incidence has fallen 1.5 per cent per year since 2000, equalling a total reduction of 18 per cent.
But despite these advances, TB continues to be a major cause of death, says Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of WHO's Global TB Programme.