Tuberculosis (TB) is the infectious disease that caused the second most deaths worldwide in 2020 (after COVID-19). Many people with TB symptoms don’t get tested or seek treatment, often due to misconceptions about the disease and fear of stigma. Our campaigns dispel myths and change attitudes, encouraging people to get tested and seek the treatment they need.


The world’s leading infectious killer

In 2018, ten million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and approximately 1.5 million people died. Of the 30 countries with the highest TB burden, 16 are in Africa, and in 2018, 24% of all TB infections occurred in Africa.

Despite high TB case numbers, 44% of people with TB in Sub-Saharan Africa go undiagnosed. In order to reduce the global TB burden, it is vital that TB case detection is increased.

A TB patient wearing a mask demonstrating DMI's work with TB

The numbers

of all TB infections are in Africa
1.5 million
deaths due to TB in 2018
of all TB cases in Sub-Saharan Africa remain undetected
A man holding a radio demonstrating the distribution mechanism used in this campaign

Our tuberculosis work

Challenging Myths and Misconceptions

In many low-income countries, tuberculosis is considered a side-effect of highly stigmatised diseases like HIV/AIDS . This, along with widespread lack of information about the disease, is a principal reason why people with symptoms do not come forward for testing and treatment. Our campaigns challenge local stigma and myths, help people recognise symptoms of the disease, motivate them to get tested if they have symptoms, and give practical advice on how and where to seek medical help.

Radio, TV, and mobile phones are the dominant information sources in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. Using mass media enables us to reach millions of people with our messages, improving the knowledge and changing behaviours of thousands of people at a time. We work with select broadcast and service delivery partners to reach communities with particularly high TB burdens.