NEW DELHI: India accounts for 27 per cent of the 10 million tuberculosis cases in 2017 even as the world’s deadliest infectious disease declined last year, according to the World Health Organization’s 2018 Global TB report.
“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 the disease claims over 4,000 lives a day.
The report said of distribution of the 10 million cases, 5.8 million were men, 3.2 million were women and 1 million were children.
It added that the disease was spread across the world, but two-thirds were from eight countries, with India leading the pack.
“Two-thirds were in eight countries: India (27 per cent), China (9 per cent), Indonesia (8 per cent), the Philippines (6 per cent), Pakistan (5 per cent), Nigeria (4 per cent), Bangladesh (4 per cent) and South Africa (3 per cent),” the report said. “These and 22 other countries in WHO’s list of 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87 per cent of the world’s cases. Only 6 per cent of global cases were in the WHO European Region (3 per cent) and WHO Region of the Americas (3 per cent).”
India also led in terms of cases of drug-resistant TB.
What ails the country’s fight against TB?
In India, multiple evidence have shown large underreporting of detected TB cases, especially in the private sector.
There has been a particularly striking increase in the TB-specific budget and domestic funding for this budget since 2016.