Statement from Minister Paradis: World Tuberculosis Day

March 24, 2014

Every year, nine million people get sick with tuberculosis, yet according to the World Health Organization’s 2013 Global Tuberculosis Report, one third of them do not receive the care they need.

With the theme Reach the three million, World Tuberculosis Day 2014 is putting a renewed focus on those who are missed by health systems, putting their lives in jeopardy at the hands of a disease that could otherwise be overcome. Canada is doing its part to eliminate tuberculosis deaths and infections as well as the suffering and stigma.

We support the TB REACH Initiative of the Stop TB Partnership, which focuses on detecting the disease as early as possible, ensuring timely and complete treatment, and maintaining high tuberculosis cure rates through innovative approaches in populations that are poor, vulnerable and have limited access to care. Since 2010, 109 TB REACH projects in 44 countries have detected 210,000 additional tuberculosis cases, saved 105,000 lives and prevented 2.1 million new infections.

Canada is also a leading donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Since its inception, Canada has committed $2.1 billion to the Fund to help win the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Our support is helping to improve access to diagnosis and treatment, especially for people living in poverty. Since 2002, with the help of funding from Canada, the Global Fund has detected and treated 11.2 million tuberculosis cases. It has also treated 64,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, which continues to pose a major risk globally. I am proud that we have helped the Global Fund save to date an estimated 8.7 million lives from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. 

Recently, Canada announced a new initiative to support the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Its work will examine opportunities to address the spread of tuberculosis among migrant mine workers and within their communities of origin in Africa.

Canada believes that nobody should be left behind. On World Tuberculosis Day, and every other day, we will continue to save lives and fight the spread of this deadly but treatable disease. 

Christian Paradis
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie