GENEVA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Six million lives could be saved if a 1.6-billion-U.S. dollar annual funding gap to combat tuberculosis (TB) over 2014-2016 is bridged, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria said Monday.
It could also enable full treatment for 17 million TB and Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients, according to the WHO.
The organization estimated there is an anticipated demand for 4.8 billion dollars each year, with 3.2 billion dollars projected to be filled by domestic contributions, to fight the disease in 118 low- and middle-income countries that are eligible for financing from the Global Fund.
Nearly 60 percent of the 1.6-billion-dollar need for donor financing is for the WHO's African Region and MDR-TB treatment is where the greatest increase in funding is needed in the coming years based on current spending patterns.
TB ranks as the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide after the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV). In 2011, 8.7 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million people lost their lives to this disease.
The WHO worked with the Global Fund and the Stop TB Partnership to support selected high TB burden countries in reviewing their priorities for the next three years and estimating available funding and gaps.