September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Tuberculosis

Topic: 2024-Tuberculosis
Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: David Liu

World Health Organization
The United Kingdom
David Liu, Forest Hills Northern High School

Tuberculosis (TB) has always been a pressing global health challenge, but following the COVID-19 pandemic, accessible treatment for TB has plummeted, leaving many areas in desperate need of support. As a delegate of the United Kingdom, we are deeply committed to addressing this issue and collaborating with the international community to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ending the TB epidemic by 2030.
In 2022, it was estimated that 10.6 million people fell ill with TB, leading to 1.3 million deaths. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had been observing a general downward trend in TB cases, with only about 10 million recorded cases in 2019. Even in the United Kingdom, a historically successful country in battling TB, we saw cases increase by 7.3% between 2020 and 2021. Unless this pattern can be changed, the UK will unfortunately fall short of achieving the WHO’s End TB Strategy target of 90% reduction in people with TB from 2015 to 2035.
The UK maintains its commitment to achieving our goal; we have initiated a five-year action plan for advancing TB prevention and control. Working with NHS England, the strategy focuses on several pivotal areas: streamlining COVID-19 recovery, preventing tuberculosis while enhancing protection against it, augmenting TB detection efficacy, curtailing the spread of tuberculosis, and fortifying workforce development. We aspire—through targeted emphasis on these crucial objectives—to reignite our historical downward trajectory in TB cases.
Globally, there still remain a number of other prevalent issues in the battle against TB. With the increase of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), we now have to create new ways of approaching the fight against TB, as previous medications may no longer be effective. In 2022, only about 2 in every 5 people with MDR-TB had access to treatment, let alone ones that were successful. Moreover, targeting the root causes of TB—poverty, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, and social determinants of health (SDOH)—is a pressing emphasis for the UK; by confronting these fundamental issues, we can exert more efficient control over TB’s spread and restrict new cases. The UK stands firmly supportive with WHO’s call for enhanced funding in TB research to hasten innovative treatment method development.
In conclusion, the UK reasserts its commitment to combating TB domestically and globally; we urge the United Nations to unite with us in this goal. Through collaboration, overcoming the TB epidemic is within our reach, creating a healthier, more equitable world for all.

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