WHO report: 10 million people developed TB in 2017; India accounts for 27% cases

Tuberculosis remains the world’s most lethal infectious killer. It claims more lives than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. TB is also a preventable, treatable, curable disease. Fewer people fell ill and died from tuberculosis last year but countries are still not doing enough to end TB by 2030. TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease. WHO calls for urgent action to #EndTB

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Tuberculosis (TB) remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease although global efforts have averted an estimated 54 million tuberculosis (TB) deaths since 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday.

WHO, in its latest 2018 Global TB Report, says countries are still not doing enough to end TB by 2030 and calls for an unprecedented mobilisation of national and international commitments. It urges for decisive action from nearly 50 heads of state and government who are expected to gather next week for the first-ever UN High-level Meeting on TB.

World Health Organisation in its TB report released on Tuesday, September 18, started that 10 million people worldwide contacted TB in 2017. India accounted for 27 per cent of the 10 million people who developed tuberculosis

India is highest among the top 30 high TB burden countries in the world

The 2018 edition of the Global Tuberculosis Report, released on Tuesday, provides a comprehensive assessment of the TB epidemic.

Out of 10 million 5.8 million are men, 3.2 million women and one million children.

Of the total, two-thirds were in eight countries alone – India 27%; China 9%; Indonesia 8%; the Philippines 6%; Pakistan 5%; Nigeria 4%; Bangladesh 4% and South Africa 3%.

The report said these eight nations and 22 other countries in the WHO’s list of 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87 per cent of the world’s cases.

Only six per cent of the global cases were in the WHO European Region – three per cent and WHO Region of the Americas – three per cent.

TB is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide, and since 2011 it has been the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS,” the report said adding that it claims over 4,000 lives a day.

According to an estimated epidemiological burden of TB in 2017, for the 30 high TB burden countries, WHO regions and globally, India’s total TB burden incidence was 2.74 million, the highest.

Drug-resistant TB continues to be a public health crisis. The best estimate is that worldwide in 2017, 558,000 people developed TB that was resistant to rifampicin (RR-TB), the most effective first-line drug, and of these, 82 per cent had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

Three countries accounted for almost half of the world’s cases of MDR/RR-TB: India 24 per cent; China 13 per cent and Russia 10 per cent.

Worldwide in 2017, 6.4 million new cases of TB were officially notified to the national authorities and then reported to the WHO.

India accounted for 32 per cent of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people, and for 27 per cent of the combined total TB deaths in HIV-negative and HIV-positive people.

The report noted that in India, multiple sources of evidence from surveys and surveillance have shown large underreporting of detected TB cases, especially in the private sector.

India is an example of a country that took major steps in 2017–2018 to expand TB-specific cash transfers and linkages to broader nutrition schemes.

The report said that for the past year, the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) and National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in India have been capturing data to evaluate TB case-finding activities among people attending antiretroviral therapy centres.

It noted that several anti-TB drugs are being tested across the world, including a Phase II/III trial for prevention of TB recurrence in adults is being implemented in India.

World Health Organization Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “We have never seen such high-level political attention to tuberculosis and understanding of what the world needs to do to EndTB and drug-resistant TB. At UNGA next week, we must capitalise on this momentum and act together to end this terrible disease.”

Drug-resistant TB remains a global public health crisis, the report said, detailing in 2017, 558,000 people were estimated to have developed disease resistant to at least rifampicin — the most effective first-line TB drug.

TB was among the communicable diseases that the UN’s 2030 Agenda has set the goal to end by the year of 2030.

Also, the WHO End TB Strategy aims at a 90 per cent reduction in the absolute number of TB deaths and an 80 per cent decrease in TB incidence — new cases per 100,000 population per year, compared with levels in 2015.