WHO report: 8.5 Lakh TB cases go unreported in India

On October 30, World Health Organization (WHO) realised its annual TB report on tuberculosis (TB). It reveals that TB remains the top infectious killer in 2016. TB is also the main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV


Announcement of wiping out tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025 apart, projections in World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual TB report 2017 released on Monday, look dismal for the nation. Of the 27.9 lakh estimated patients, only 19,38,158 TB cases were notified in public and private sector in India, which means that over 8.5 lakh cases are slipping out of the treatment purview.  While, India aims at eliminating TB by the year 2025.

India tops the list of countries with highest number of patients infected by Tb with an estimated 27.9 lakh patients reeling under TB in 2016. Up to 4.23 lakh patients have been estimated to have died.

Up to 27.9 lakh patients were estimated to be infected with TB in India last year. Total cases notified in the year 2016 were 1,935,158. Total new and relapse were 1 763 876. 72 percebt were with known HIV status.

“While the world has committed to ending the TB epidemic by 2030, actions and investments don’t match the political rhetoric. We need a dynamic, global, multisectoral approach.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

Seven countries accounted for 64% of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt, followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. An estimated 1.7 million people died from TB, including nearly 400 000 people who were co-infected with HIV. This is a drop by 4 per cent compared to 2015.

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 600 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug, of which 490 000 had MDR-TB. Almost half of these cases were in India, China and the Russian Federation.

 The sheer numbers of deaths and suffering speak for themselves – we are not accelerating fast enough,” said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme. Prompt action towards universal health coverage and social protection, as well as breakthroughs in research and innovations – will be critical to enable access to patient-centered care of the highest standards for all, especially the poorest, most disadvantaged people everywhere.”