India accounts for 1/4th of the world’s MDR-TB patients, admits J P Nadda

India faces an uphill battle if it has to meet its target of eradicating tuberculosis by the year 2025. Union health minister JP Nadda today informed the Lok Sabha that tuberculosis among children is on the rise. He also added that India contributes for 1/4th of the world’s multi-drug resistant cases


  • India has reported the highest number of childhood tuberculosis cases in the world for the last three consecutive years.
  • The reported number of childhood tuberculosis cases in 2015, 2016 and 2017 is 99,133, 1,04,886 and 1,05,568 respectively as per WHO Global TB report database.
  • Contact investigations are carried out to identify and treat TB among child contacts of TB patients.
  • Overcrowding and poor ventilation can also help spread tuberculosis in cities like Mumbai.

Isoniazid (INH) chemoprophylaxis is being given to children below six years of age, who are contacts of TB patients and do not have active TB. Nearly 38,745 children started on TB preventive therapy in 2017.

As per Global TB report 2017, estimated number of Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) TB patients are 6,01,000 globally, of which 147000 (1/4th) are estimated from India.

Bedaquiline drug was introduced in India in 2016 under conditional access programme for selective group of the Multi drug resistant TB patients based on drug sensitivity results of second line anti-TB drugs.