India still has the biggest TB burden

Country also has most number of drug-resistant TBs

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 17 October 2019
TB. Photo: Getty Images

India continued at the top of the list of patients with tuberculosis, according to a report released by the World Health Organisation on October 17, 2019. It also had the most number of drug-resistant TB cases.

The report estimated that 10 million people had TB in 2018. India accounted for 27 per cent of the world total. China was a distant second with 9 per cent, Indonesia (8 per cent), the Philippines (6 per cent), Pakistan (6 per cent), Nigeria (4 per cent), Bangladesh (4 per cent) and South Africa (3 per cent).

These countries also had most of the global TB burden a year ago.

India also had 27 per cent of a total 130,000 drug-resistant TB cases while China had 14 per cent and the Russian Federation 9 per cent

According to the report, 26,90,000 people fell will with TB in India, out of which 19,90,000 were notified. The rest were not notified or diagnosed. The report noted India bettering its notification rate and credited the country for improving global notification rates.

“Based on case notification data reported to WHO, the target for 2018 was achieved. Globally, 7 million new cases of TB were notified in 2018 — an increase from 6.4 million in 2017 and a large increase from the 5.7-5.8 million notified annually in the period 2009-2012.

Most of the increase in global notifications of TB cases since 2013 is explained by trends in India and Indonesia, the two countries that rank first and third worldwide in terms of estimated incident cases per year. In India, notifications of new cases rose from 1.2 million to 2.0 million between 2013 and 2018 (+60%).”

The India TB report earlier this year, however, said 21.5 lakh cases out of an estimated 27 lakh were notified. That would leave five lakh people out of the ambit of registration. But the WHO report pegged the number of people not notified at only 70,000.

Despite increased notifications, there was a large gap globally fuelled mostly by 10 countries including India, accounting for 25 per cent non-notified cases — the highest in the world, the report noted.

A grey area: TB treatment rate was only 74 per cent and treatment success rate 81 per cent against a target of 90 per cent for both by 2022.

In India, 449,000 people died of TB in 2018, according to the report. The aim is to reduce deaths to 3 lakh by 2022.

The report blamed alcoholism as the top factor responsible for TB followed by smoking, undernourishment, diabetes and HIV.

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