Although it can be prevented and successfully treated, tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious disease: in 2015, 1.8 million people died from it. While there have been substantial and important innovations in the fight against TB, including faster, more accurate diagnostic tests and the first new medicines in nearly 50 years, deadly gaps remain in implementing and providing access to these advances. Outdated policies, practices and tools for diagnosing, as well as conservatism and inaction in registering and using new TB medicines, are key barriers to turning around the TB epidemic.
Adopting and implementing internationally recognised TB policies and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) is fundamental to ending TB by 2030. But the Out of Step 2017 report reveals that many countries still lag behind in ensuring full implementation of the WHO guidelines and policies that are proven to reduce TB incidence and death.
Out of Step includes the results of a 29-country survey on national TB policies and practices. The report was created to identify gaps in implementation and monitor progress towards ending TB.
While countries have made progress since the 2015 Out of Step report, much more work needs to be done to make sure that these policies are fully implemented across all communities, so that they will make a real difference to people affected by TB.