Tuberculosis in developing countries

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious, bacterial airborne disease.  Every year there are 10.4 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths.  More than 2.4 billion people are infected with TB. According to the World Health Organization TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.

The disease poses a significant health risk to poor and malnourished people, with more than 95% of TB cases and deaths in developing countries.

Tuberculosis most frequently strikes people between the ages 18 and 59, which are their most productive years. But it also kills around 466 children each day.

In most instances, TB is a preventable and curable disease.

Finding the missing cases

Approximately 3.3 million people with TB are currently untreated.  At-risk groups include:

Cases are often missed because of limited health systems or financial barriers and stigma. In some cultures TB is associated with witchcraft or a “curse “on families. A fear of this discrimination can make people reluctant to seek help or diagnosis. People who are infected and untreated are more likely to infect others.

Fighting tuberculosis with the global community

The global community’s efforts in fighting TB are paying off. Between 2000 and 2015, effective diagnosis and treatment of TB saved 49 million lives and incidence rates are declining worldwide.

Canada is committed to ending the TB epidemic by 2030, which is one of the health targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Canada's approach to fighting TB globally relies on strong and effective collaboration with partners, such as those below.

Our efforts focus on reaching vulnerable people who have limited access to quality health care services. Canada is also concerned with the linkages between TB and HIV, especially as TB is the leading cause of death in people who are HIV-positive.

Search the Project Browser for details on Canada’s contribution to combatting TB.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Canada is a significant contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which has made it possible for 16.6 million people to receive effective diagnosis and treatment for TB.

We have supported the Global Fund since its inception in 2002, committing more than $2.9 billion—Canada’s largest contribution to an international health institution.

Stop TB Partnership

We served as founding chair of the Stop TB Partnership which was established in 2000.

Canada supported Stop TB Partnership’s development of the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020. The Paradigm Shift, is a plan to guide countries, partners and donors in the prioritization of actions toward the long-term goal of eradicating TB.


Canada finances the Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative with an $85 million contribution for 2017-2021. The TB REACH initiative is designed to encourage innovative interventions and improve the detection and treatment of TB in vulnerable groups

Canada previously provided $120M to TB REACH for 2010-2016, contributing to the detection and treatment of nearly 1.9 million cases of TB and helping prevent an estimated 12.8 million new infections

Global Drug Facility

Canada founded, and is an important contributor to, the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility, an initiative that has improved access to quality anti-TB drugs in resource-poor countries. Since 2001, Canada has contributed approximately $152 million to the Global Drug Facility providing treatments for over 27 million patients in 134 countries between 2001-2016.

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