The World is not in track to accomplish the objectives set by the WHO to eliminate TB. Discuss the statement in the light of Global TB report 2019.

Published: October 19, 2019

Under the End TB Strategy, the WHO aims to attain the following objectives compared to 2015 levels:

  • Reduce TB deaths by 35 per cent and TB incidence rate to 20 per cent by 2020
  • Reduce TB deaths by 90 per cent and TB incidence rate to 80 per cent by 2030
  • Decrease TB deaths by 95 per cent and TB incidence rate to 90 per cent by 2035

To achieve the targets set above, the WHO has set three broad indicators:

  • The TB incidence rate,
  • The number of TB deaths per year and
  • The percentage of patients facing catastrophic costs due to infectious bacterial disease.

Global Tuberculosis Report 2019

  • The world is not on track to reach the 2020 milestones of the End TB Strategy.
  • The END TB strategy by the WHO aimed to reduce TB by 20 per cent from 2015-18. But only 6.3 per cent of TB cases showed a cumulative decline between 2015 and 2018. Even the reduction in TB deaths was also not as per expectations, according to the report.
  • The global decline in the total number of TB deaths was 11 per cent between 2015 and 2018. This was less than one-third of the way towards the End TB Strategy milestone of 35 per cent decrease by 2020.
  • The world is not on track about the former two indicators, the third one too presents a dismal picture. The catastrophic costs ranged from 27 per cent to 83 per cent for all forms of TB, and from 67 per cent to 100 per cent for drug-resistant TB.
  • TB remains the top infectious killer in the world claiming over 4,000 lives a day.

Catastrophic costs are defined as the total cost of TB treatment, which exceeds 20 per cent of the annual income of the household.

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