HomeNews‘Communicable diseases remain leading cause of deaths in low-income countries’

‘Communicable diseases remain leading cause of deaths in low-income countries’


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present an ambitious and inclusive health agenda, but there is still unfinished business as communicable diseases remain the leading cause of death in low-income countries, a health partnership group has said.

By Phyllis Mbanje

“There are still many left behind in districts, countries and regions that are suffering and dying because of these diseases. Tuberculosis alone kills more than 4 000 people a day,” Lucica Ditiu, the executive secretary of Stop TB Partnership said.

Stop TB Partnership was established in 1998 and comprises a network of international organisations, countries, donor agencies from the public and private sectors, governmental and nongovernmental organisations and individuals. Its aim is to realise the goal of eliminating TB as a public health problem and, ultimately, to have a world free of TB.

While congratulating Heads of State and Government, Ditiu said she was disappointed that the voices of those that the SDGs were intended to support were not audible enough.

“The theme of the event was Leave No One Behind, but those we want to support are not well represented,” she said.

The TB activist said she was honoured to be in the presence of a 13-year-old Malawian girl, Tisungen, who travelled to New York to remind global leaders of the need to translate SDGs into actions that count to create a bright future for herself and the many voices she represents.

“When we speak about ending Aids, TB and malaria, this is not rhetoric. This is a goal we can and will achieve. Our success will depend on making the Leave No One Behind the foundation of everything we do and not just another catchphrase,” Ditiu said.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unified the world’s focus in the fight for health for all, leading to an unprecedented scale-up of resources, political will and action.

Since the MDGs were agreed in 2000, new HIV infections fell by approximately 40% from 3,5 million to 2 million annual cases. Tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment saved an estimated 37 million lives from 2000 to 2013 and led to a drop of 45% in TB mortality.

With expansion of anti-malaria interventions, over 6,2 million malaria deaths have been averted.

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