[Ip-health] Fwd: Fw: MSF response to 2016 WHO Global TB Report

Thomas Pogge thomas.pogge at yale.edu
Fri Oct 14 15:50:47 PDT 2016

Hi Jo,

Thank you, this makes sense. The /Report/ itself sure avoids suggesting 
that there is anything but progress. And if you look at its Figure 3.5 
(right-hand side) on p. 29, you wouldn't guess that TB deaths of 
HIV-negative people ever got lower than in 2015 -- let alone over 20% 
lower. So I assume that WHO had new data that led them (between the 2015 
and 2016 /Reports/) to revise death rates upward for 2014 or that they 
changed their estimation technique in some way.

It may be relevant here that international agencies want to show 
governments in a positive light. In 2015, we were trained to look 
backward to 1990 and taught to admire the great progress made with the 
MDGs -- so here a small number was more welcome. In 2016, we are trained 
to look forward to 2030 and taught to admire the ambitious goals 
governments have adopted with the SDGs -- so here a large number is more 
welcome (one that is easier to "beat" later).

To see that the international agencies aren't always honest record 
keepers, have a quick look at the measurement of hunger at

Again, thanks for your good work!


On 10/14/16 8:58 AM, Joanna Keenan wrote:
> Hi Thomas
> Thanks for highlighting.
> We looked at the numbers from both 2015's report (which uses 2014 data) and
> 2016's report (which uses 2015 data). The 2015 report states the following:
> "In 2014, TB killed 1.5 million people (1.1 million HIV-negative and 0.4
> million HIV-positive)" (page 1). 2016's report says this: "There were an
> estimated 1.4 million TB deaths in 2015, and an additional 0.4 million
> deaths resulting from TB disease among people living with HIV." (page 1) To
> get total number of TB deaths for 2015 in 2016's report, we added 1.4
> million plus 400,000 which gives us 1.8 million - which is more than the
> 1.5 million deaths recorded in last year's report, using deaths in both HIV
> positive and HIV negative people.
> I hope this is clearer.
> Kind regards
> Joanna Keenan
> Press Officer
> Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
> P: +41 22 849 87 45
> M: +41 79 203 13 02
> E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
> T: @joanna_keenan
> msfaccess.org
> twitter.com/MSF_access
> facebook.com/MSFaccess
> From:        Thomas Pogge <thomas.pogge at yale.edu>
> To:        ip-health at lists.keionline.org
> Date:        14.10.2016 13:04
> Subject:        Re: [Ip-health] MSF response to 2016 WHO Global TB Report
> Sent by:        "Ip-health" <ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org>
> ------------------------------
> "TB deaths jumped to 1.8 million in 2015 from 1.5 million in 2014, with
> 41% of people estimated to have fallen sick with the disease being left
> undiagnosed and untreated."
> I looked for this information in the report and found the report saying
> instead that TB deaths are *down* to 1.4 million plus 0.4 million deaths
> from a combination of TB and HIV (pp. 5, 15, 30). What am I missing?
> Thanks,
> Thomas Pogge
> On 10/14/16 4:33 AM, Joanna Keenan wrote:
>> MSF response to 2016 WHO Global TB Report
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.
> msfaccess.org_about-2Dus_media-2Droom_press-2Dreleases_
> msf-2Dresponse-2D2016-2Dwho-2Dglobal-2Dtb-2Dreport&d=CwIGaQ&c=-
> dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=T63lC49deeX8uMRKw_QRo3PXHbWD4VbV4CgzRL07ISw&m=
> VtxFswuy1KvL4&e=
>> Background
>> WHO’s Global TB Report 2015, published on 13 October 2016, reveals some
>> shocking statistics: TB deaths jumped to 1.8 million in 2015 from 1.5
>> million in 2014, with 41% of people estimated to have fallen sick with the
>> disease being left undiagnosed and untreated. The treatment gap for people
>> with drug-resistant TB remains morbidly high – in 2015, just 20% of people
>> sick with drug-resistant forms of TB received the treatment they needed.
>> The WHO Global TB Report is a wake-up call to break the status quo in how
>> TB, and its drug-resistant forms, are being diagnosed and treated. More
>> needs to be urgently done to close the deadly gap between those who are
>> diagnosed and treated and those who are left behind.
>> Médecins Sans Frontières responds to the WHO Global TB report 2015 with
> the
>> following quote:
>> “WHO’s annual look at the global state of tuberculosis this year makes for
>> a shockingly bad report card: countries are failing to diagnose and treat
>> millions of people with TB, which caused 1.8 million deaths last year.
>> Governments need to get their heads out of the sand and realise that TB is
>> not a disease consigned to the 1800s; we see and treat TB in our clinics
>> every day, and it’s a deadly threat to all of us unless governments wake
> up
>> and start diagnosing and treating everyone with TB.
>> “WHO’s report reveals that more people are dying of TB and more people are
>> left undiagnosed and untreated than last year, creating a cycle of TB
>> transmission and death. Only a third of the countries carrying the highest
>> TB burdens are using the recommended rapid test to detect TB and
>> drug-resistance as the initial diagnostic test for all people with TB –
>> this represents an unacceptably low take up of a critically important,
>> lifesaving tool. Governments of countries with high TB burdens and donors
>> must urgently support implementation of the most effective tools and
>> strategies to get more people with TB diagnosed and on the right
> treatment,
>> and must fund research and development of rapid, simple and affordable
>> diagnostic tests that can be used at the point of care, so that we can
>> close this deadly gap as quickly as possible.
>> “Just one in five people with drug-resistant forms of TB received the
>> treatment they needed in 2015 – a dismal record with deadly effects.
>> Governments and pharmaceutical companies must do more to rapidly scale up
>> access to new drugs effective against drug-resistant TB, so that everyone
>> has a better chance at being cured, and to support development of new TB
>> treatments that can cure anyone with the disease in a drastically shorter
>> timeframe; this kind of breakthrough will only be possible if governments
>> make TB research a priority.”
>> -Dr Greg Elder, Medical Coordinator, MSF Access Campaign
>> Cheers
>> Jo

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