CONGO—The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its Global Tuberculosis Report 2023, revealing that approximately 70% of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the African region are now being diagnosed and treated.

This achievement represents the highest case-detection rate ever recorded in the region, a testament to the concerted efforts made by countries to combat the disease.

The report highlights a steady increase in the case detection rate since 2018, with a notable surge observed between 2020 and 2022, rising from 60% to 70% of cases being detected.

Moreover, there has been a significant reduction in the number of people with TB who remain undiagnosed, with an estimated 700,000 fewer cases missed in 2022 compared to 2021, marking a 10% decrease.

In observance of World TB Day this year, themed “Yes! We can end TB,” global efforts are being mobilized to advance the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of TB.

Notably, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries in the African region maintained TB notification services, ensuring the continued detection and treatment of cases.

Nigeria, burdened with a substantial TB caseload, witnessed nearly a threefold increase in case notifications over the past five years, reaching 285,000 cases in 2022 from 106,000 cases in 2018.

Improvements in managing HIV infections, a significant driver of TB, have also contributed to enhanced TB detection rates in the region.

Despite accounting for 23% of TB cases and 33% of deaths globally, the African region is making commendable progress toward eradicating the disease.

Countries such as Cabo Verde, Eswatini, and South Africa have achieved at least a 50% reduction in TB cases.

Aligned with the WHO End TB Strategy, which aims to reduce TB deaths by 75% and cases by 50% by 2025 compared to 2015 levels, the African region has seen a 38% decrease in TB deaths and a 23% decline in new cases in 2022 relative to 2015.

However, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, emphasized the need for continued efforts to mitigate the devastating impacts of TB on families and communities.

To achieve the 2030 global End TB Strategy targets of reducing TB deaths by 90% and cases by 80%, increased investments in TB control programs are imperative.

Despite the progress made, insufficient funding remains a challenge. In 2022, the African Region faced a significant shortfall, with only around US$890 million mobilized for TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment out of the required US$3.9 billion annually as per the Global Plan to End TB 2018–2022.

Additionally, limited access to health services, inadequate infrastructure, subpar quality of care, an inadequate healthcare workforce, and insufficient social protection hinder progress toward ending TB.

Globally, TB remains a major public health threat, with nearly 2.5 million people falling ill and 424,000 lives lost to TB in the African region alone in 2022, making it the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent.

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