The Millennium Development Goal target for tuberculosis control is to halt the spread of tuberculosis by 2015, and begin to reverse the worldwide incidence. After the introduction of standard control practices in 1995, 36 million people were cured and about 6 million deaths were averted. However, substantial scientific advances and innovative solutions are urgently needed together with creative new strategies. Strong international and national political commitment is essential. Urgent action is needed by national governments to fund their own programmes, and for the G8 countries and other donor governments and organisations to support governmental and non-governmental efforts. To foster the global need for urgent action to control the tuberculosis epidemic, The Lancet, in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership, WHO, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the experts participating in this Series, is launching The Lancet TB Observatory, which will assess and monitor progress in tuberculosis control and research, assess domestic and global financing, regularly disseminate information, and advocate for intensified efforts with stakeholders at all levels.
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