Mr. Speaker, today is World Tuberculosis Day. TB kills 1.7 million people each year. That is one person every 20 seconds. Many of these are among the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations, particularly women, people living with HIV and aboriginal people.
The tragedy is that we know how to fight this epidemic and treating TB costs as little as $20 per person for the life-saving drugs.
In a time of economic crisis, developing countries are hit hard as they feel the effects of the downturn and a decrease in aid dollars. As fiscal belts are tightened, it is important to note that studies show investing in TB control is one of the most cost-effective public health investments that can be made.
The World Bank acknowledged the economic imperative to treat TB in an impact study that showed scaling up funding to fight TB would not only prevent unnecessary sickness and death, it would be cheaper than maintaining the status quo. Canada has been recognized as a leader in TB control, but we are wavering. Canada's actual spending is down $30 million in 2007.
We know how to fight the epidemic and treat the disease in Canada. I would like to ask all members of the House to fight this--