India tops nations burdened by TB

Absence of new drugs and vaccines, funds shortage affecting treatment and control

Published: Friday 22 March 2013

  • Globally, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which strives to halt and reverse the TB epidemic by 2015 has already been achieved. New cases of the disease have gone down. The reduction was at a rate of 2.2 per cent between 2010 and 2011
  • But the disease still affected an estimated 8.7 million new patients in 2011. 1.4 million people died from the disease. Women were the worst affected with 300,000 deaths among HIV-negative women and 200,000 deaths among HIV-positive women
  • Asia and Africa have the biggest burden of the disease. India and China together account for almost 40 per cent of the world’s TB cases
  • In 2011, highest number of cases were in India (2.0 million–2.5 million), followed by China (0.9 million–1.1 million), South Africa (0.4 million–0.6 million), Indonesia (0.4 million–0.5 million) and Pakistan (0.3 million–0.5 million)
  • Out of the new cases, 3.7 per cent and out of previously treated, 20 per cent cases have been found to be affected by MDR-TB (multi-drug resistant TB). India, China, the Russian Federation and South Africa have almost 60 per cent of the world’s MDR-TB cases
  • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) has been reported by 84 countries. Around 9 per cent of the MDR-TB cases are XDR
  • Between 2010 and 2011, the incidence declined at the rate of 0.5 per cent in the eastern Mediterranean region, 2.0 per cent in the Southeast Asia region, 2.3 per cent in the western Pacific region, 3.1 per cent in the African region, 3.8 per cent in the region of the Americas and 8.5 per cent in Europe
  • There is little information on TB in children below 15 years age. The first ever estimate shows that there were approximately 0.5 million cases and 64 000 deaths among children in 2011
  • The treatment of the disease suffers from a lack of new drugs and vaccines. Of the 10 anti-TB drugs under clinical trials, two new drugs are being evaluated to boost the effectiveness of MDR-TB regimen
  • Funds for treatment and control are in short supply. It is estimated that between 2013 and 2015, up to US $ 8 billion per year would be needed just in low and middle income countries. Funding gap in these areas is as high as US$ 3 billion per year.


Estimated burden of disease in India
(rate: per 100,000 population in India; data is provisional)
Population (in thousand) India 1,241,492
  Global 6,947,687
  lowest 15
  highest 35
  Lowest 12
  Highest 17
  lowest 168
  highest 346
  Lowest 150
  Highest 192
Source : Global Tuberculosis Report 2012, World Health Organization 2012


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