The Stop TB Partnership says tuberculosis (TB) deaths among people living with HIV are on the rise.
On Tuesday, the Geneva-based organization raised the alarm of at least 214,000 TB deaths in 2020.
The body administered by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) cited experts’ warning of further increase in mortality due to underfunding.
“Every day, close to 600 people living with HIV die from TB. Most of these deaths could have been averted”, Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director stressed.
Ditiu noted that while HIV prevention and treatment extends people’s lives, one in three pass away because of tuberculosis.
“At the moment, people living with HIV face a triple burden of disease, threatened not only by HIV itself but also by COVID-19 and TB.”
The official said though it’s hard to avert all co-infections, prevention and treatment were possible with adequate funding.
About 8 per cent of people with TB live with HIV. The proportion is highest African region and exceeds 50 per cent in the Southern region.
Ditiu regrets the demise/shun of millions of patients owing to lack of resources and political commitment.
“We have the guidance and tools we need but lack adequate funding. We’ve never had more than 40% of what is needed to reach 100% of people”, she complained.
The Stop TB Partnership added that United Nations (UN) reach of 6 million people living with HIV with TB preventive ahead of schedule shows sufficient financing can lead to change.
Tuberculosis kills 18 Nigerians every hour, country highest in Africa