On World Tuberculosis Day, the World Health Organisation has called for intensified actions to eradicate the disease in the South East Asia region which bears the world's highest TB burden. WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh highlighted the urgent need for countries to uptake new WHO recommendations and innovations, better address social and economic determinants, and improve multisectoral collaboration.

In 2021, the Region accounted for more than 45 per cent of global TB incidence and more than half of global TB deaths.

According to the WHO

official release, the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated key social and economic determinants of TB such as poverty and undernutrition, pushing tens of millions more people in the Region into extreme poverty. It is estimated that across the Region, the overall impact of the crisis could lead to over seven million additional TB cases and 1.5 million additional TB deaths between 2022 and 2026.

In 2022, budget allocations for TB programmes in the Region reached a cumulative total of nearly 1.4 US billion dollars, almost 60 per cent from domestic resources.

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