Countries pledge billions to fight tuberculosis worldwide

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The World Health Organization says governments have agreed to contribute $13 billion a year by 2022 to prevent and treat tuberculosis, a communicable disease that claimed at least 1.3 million lives last year.

The agency said Wednesday that countries at a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly committed an additional $2 billion annually for research into TB.

Health experts have warned that millions of sufferers, particularly in poor countries, aren’t properly diagnosed and treated. An increasing number of the 10 million people infected each year suffer from drug-resistant strains of TB that are difficult and costly to treat.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the decision “a landmark in the long war on TB” that countries hope to win by 2030.

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