Tuberculosis control and research strategies for the 1990s: memorandum from a WHO meeting.Bull World Health Organ. 1992; 70(1):17-21.BW
Tuberculosis is the largest cause of death from a single infectious agent in the world, killing nearly 3 million people every year. This death toll represents 25% of avoidable adult deaths in developing countries. It imposes a heavy burden on the 8 million new individuals who contract the disease each year, and on their households; morbidity and mortality are concentrated in young adults. The association of tuberculosis and HIV infection will significantly exacerbate the situation in developed and developing countries, making the need for action all the more pressing. Effective control measures are available. Broad action is therefore warranted and should be aimed at introducing the effective strategies on as wide a scale as possible to reach the targets of 70% case detection and 85% cure of smear-positive patients, by the year 2000. Research is needed to implement these strategies throughout the world and to ensure that effective tools will remain available for controlling tuberculosis despite emerging problems such as resistance to the major drugs currently available. To make a real impact on the tuberculosis problem, a focused global programme must be created, under the leadership of WHO, to bring tuberculosis to the world's attention, to mobilize support on a major scale, and to provide direct guidance and support to national programmes.