House Foreign Affairs Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization subcommittee members today will hear from global health leaders on tuberculosis challenges for the first time in the nearly three years since the World Health Organization announced the disease has become the world’s leading infectious killer. The hearing will provide an opportunity for members to understand needs for increased research, and programmatic resources, as well as U.S. leadership of global TB responses, that the Infectious Diseases Society of America has highlighted in our calls for increased Congressional funding and evidence-based policies to combat the disease.
The hearing comes in the wake of a House and Senate Appropriations Committee approval of increases for USAID’s TB program of $41 million, and $14 million, respectively. As the leading U.S. agency responding to drug-resistant forms of TB, USAID plays a critical role in protecting American and global health security from the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance and IDSA has urged the full Congress to accept the House’s proposal. The hearing also follows acknowledgement of the need to maintain momentum against the HIV pandemic, in which TB remains the leading cause of death, in the Senate State and Foreign Operation’s Appropriations subcommittee’s approval of a $50 million funding increase for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the first boost for our country’s flagship global health program in nearly a decade.
The hearing comes at a critical time as United Nations member states negotiate the outcome document of the first UN High Level Meeting on ending TB and commit to achieving the targets necessary including reaching and treating the four million people with active TB disease who go undetected every year. IDSA has urged the U.S. to lead a push for strong commitments on finding and treating all TB patients, funding an accelerated global response, and funding much-needed research and development of new tools in the political declaration resulting from the UN High Level Meeting.