Tuberculosis (TB)

Addressing Poverty in TB Control.

Options for National TB Control Programmes


Publication details

Number of pages: 80
Publication date: 2005
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/HTM/TB/2005.352



Throughout the world, poor people and those from disadvantaged social groups suffer more illness and die sooner than the more privileged. Poor and socially excluded people face greater exposure to many health threats, and when they fall sick they are much less likely to receive adequate care. Social factors including the effects of poverty account for the bulk of the global burden of disease and death and for the largest share of health inequalities between and within countries. In high- income countries, the average estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is 10/100 000; in low-income countries it is 20 times higher.

Today’s great health challenge is equity: accelerating health progress in poor and socially excluded groups. This requires intensifying action on the diseases that most heavily affect poor communities while simultaneously mobilizing knowledge, resources and political commit- ment to address the social determinants of health. This coordinated action is vital if countries are to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs have underlined the inter- dependence of efforts to control disease epidemics and to attack poverty, hunger, unsafe housing, gender discrimination and inadequate access to education.