$39 to $1 ROI Realized When Deploying Tuberculosis Screening and Prevention

World Tuberculosis Day 2024 includes positive investment case for expanding TB screening and preventive treatments
BCG vaccine 2024
from Pixabay
Geneva (Precision Vaccinations News)

As World Tuberculosis Day approaches on March 24, 2024, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an investment case for tuberculosis (TB) screening and preventive treatment. 

This year's World Tuberculosis Day is commemorated under the theme 'Yes! We can end TB', conveying a message of hope.

In 2023, the WHO's Director-General announced plans to establish a new TB Vaccine Accelerator Council to encourage proactive strategies.

A new investment case published on March 15, 2024, aims to aid countries in advocating for and allocating additional resources to expand TB screening and preventive treatment to achieve targets set by Heads of State at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB.

The economic risk-benefit evaluation results indicate that even small investments can produce substantial health and financial advantages, yielding up to $39 for every dollar invested.

The modeling showed that should the status quo be maintained, between 2024 and 2050, over 10 million people will develop TB, and more than 1.3 million people will die from TB in the four countries studied.

This analysis shows that an additional investment of between $0.28 and $1.11 per capita per year could reduce the burden of TB.

"The next five years will be critical for ensuring that the political momentum we have now is translated into concrete actions towards reaching global TB targets," said Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO's Global Tuberculosis Programme, in a press release on March 18, 2024.

"WHO will continue to provide global leadership for the TB response, working with all stakeholders until we reach and save every person, family, and community impacted by this deadly disease."

The global targets approved at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • reaching 90% of people in need of TB prevention and care services;
  • using a WHO-recommended rapid test as the first method of diagnosing TB;
  • providing a health and social benefits package to all people with TB;
  • ensuring the availability of at least one new TB vaccine that is safe and effective; and
  • closing funding gaps for TB implementation and research by 2027.

While the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine has shown effectiveness against TB over the past 100 years, no universal BCG vaccination policy exists.

However, newer TB vaccine candidates have produced significant results in clinical trials.

For example, the M72/AS01E (M72) subunit vaccine candidate showed approximately 50% efficacy in reducing pulmonary TB in adults with latent TB infection in the Phase IIb trial. In 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation out-licensed M72/AS01E to the Gates Medical Research Institute to focus on phase 3 clinical studies.

The WHO estimated 10.6 million people fell sick with TB in 2022, and 1.3 million people died in 192 countries and areas. 

As of November 15, 2023, the U.S. CDC reported that TB cases increased by 5% nationally, provisionally reporting 8,331 TB cases. About 13 million people in the U.S. are living with latent TB infection.

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Article by
Donald Hackett