National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey

According to the newly released National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey 2019-2021, the highest incidents of pulmonary tuberculosis cases across the country were recorded in Delhi with the lowest being in Kerala.

Overview:

After six decades, this survey has been conducted and was released by the Union Health Ministry to mark World TB Day.

Findings of this report

  • This survey found that 64 percent of the country’s TB symptomatic population was unable to seek healthcare services between the period 2019 to 2021.
  • The prevalence of TB among the country’s population who are above 15 years of age is 312 cases per one lakh. This is more than two times than the global which stands at 127 per one lakh.
  • TB among the people who are 15 and above is 31.7%.
  • In women pulmonary TB prevalence is lower (154 per lakh) as compared to the men of the country (472 per lakh).
  • In India, the prevalence of microbiologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) among individuals who are aged 15 and above was 316 per lakh population, with Delhi having the highest incidence of 534 per lakh and Kerala having the lowest prevalence of 115 per lakh.
  • Among the surveyed, prevalence of PTB infection was 21.7 percent.
  • For all forms of TB, the highest prevalence in India was 747 per lakh in Delhi, and in Gujarat, it was the lowest with 137.
  • Among the population who are aged 15 years and above, the prevalence of TB stood at 31.4 percent.
  • In the people aged 15 and above, the prevalence-to-notification ratio of pulmonary TB across the nation as well as the state groups is around 2.84. In Chhattisgarh, the highest ratio was observed and Gujarat was the lowest.

Impact of COVID-19

This survey has also found that due to COVID-19 the community level chest X-ray abnormality has been impacted in general and this would have impacted the prevalence of TB.

What needs to be done to address pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB)?

More needs to be done to address PTB in India like nutritional interventions for all those who are malnourished, occupation screening for TB, screening of old age people, as well as smoking interventions and cessation of alcohol. Also, the cost for treatment must be made affordable to all as 18 percent of the country’s population is burdened with high healthcare expenditure.

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