India tops list of new TB cases in 2016: WHO Report

According to the Global TB Report 2017 released by World Health Organisation (WHO), India has topped list of seven countries, accounting for 64% of the over 10 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in year 2016. India was followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa.

Key Facts

The report said, an estimated 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016, including nearly 4 lakh people who were co-infected with HIV, recording a drop by 4% as compared to 2015. India along with China and Russia accounted for almost half of around 5 lakh multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases registered in 2016. There were estimated 600000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin, the most effective first-line drug, of which 490000 had MDR- TB.
Despite global efforts to combat TB, which saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced TB mortality rate by 37%, the disease is still top infectious killer in 2016. The disease also has been reported to be main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV.

Main Challenges

The biggest challenge was underreporting and underdiagnosis of TB cases, especially in countries with weak health systems and large unregulated private sectors. Of estimated 10.4 million new cases, only 6.3 million were detected and officially notified in 2016, leaving a gap of 4.1 million. India, Indonesia and Nigeria accounted for almost half of this global gap.
Half a million reported cases of HIV-associated TB, 15% were not on antiretroviral therapy (ART) as recommended by WHO. Most of gaps related to HIV-associated TB were in WHO African Region. TB preventive treatment is expanding in two priority risk groups-people living with HIV and children under 5 years. However, most people eligible for TB preventive treatment are not accessing it.
Further, investments in low-and middle-income countries for TB care and prevention fall almost US 2.3 billion dollars short of the US 9.2 billion dollars needed in 2017. In addition, at least an extra US 1.2 billion dollars per year are required to accelerate development of new vaccines, diagnostics and medicines.
It calls for more domestic funding in middle-income countries and more international donor support to support low-income countries. Further, to stop spread of TB epidemic action beyond health sector is required to address risk factors and determinants of disease.

Tuberculosis (TB)

TB is bacterial disease caused by “Mycobacterium tuberculosis” bacteria that most often affect the lungs. The disease is spread from person to person through the air. It commonly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is the second biggest killer disease worldwide next only to HIV/AIDS. It can be completely cured with proper and regular medication.




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