TB or not TB, that is the question. I am repeating myself, as this question bears repeating with March 24, World TB Day, rapidly approaching.
Why does tuberculosis persist, indeed, why does TB still exist? This is a curable disease and it is not limited to hard to reach corners of the world, it is alive and well, in fact thriving, in our northern communities. The answer must be lack of political will.
In 2016, 1.7 million people died from this old disease, which was the subject of operas and tragic tales. I would love to witness the eradication of this horrible disease during my lifetime. This was all within reach not that long ago, however, funding is declining in many countries and global funding for research and development is stagnating. This gives TB the opportunity to rally and develop into strains that will be incurable with the current medicines.
In September 2018, the United Nations will hold a special high level meeting on Tuberculosis. I, for one, would like to see our prime minister or perhaps the minister of health attend to make a statement that Canada is serious about eradicating TB. If Canada takes the lead, then surely other world leaders will follow.