India saw 13 per cent increase in TB cases in 2022

The report said 2022 saw an increase of 32% in the number of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR)/ Rifampicin-resistant (RR)-TB cases compared to 2021.

Published: 24th March 2023 08:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2023 08:41 PM   |  A+A-

Representational Image: A relative adjusts the oxygen mask of a tuberculosis patient at a TB hospital on World Tuberculosis Day in Hyderabad, India, March 24, 2018. (File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India saw a 13 percent increase in tuberculosis cases in 2022 compared to 2021, according to the annual India TB report released Friday.

The report, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi released in Varanasi, said that despite the brief decline in TB notifications in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) was able to record a high notification of 24.2 lakh cases; an increase of 13% as compared to 2021. 

“The year 2022 marks a milestone year for TB surveillance efforts in India, with a record high notification of 24.2 lakh cases, an increase of 13% compared to 2021. This translates to a case notification rate of approximately 172 cases per lakh population,” said the report ‘Leading the way – India TB report 2023,’ launched on World TB Day. 

On the occasion, the prime minister also launched the TB-Mukt Panchayat Initiative and New Shorter Regimen for TB Preventive Therapy to raise awareness about TB and prevent the spread of the disease that affects the lungs.

In 2021, India saw a 19 percent increase in new and relapsed tuberculosis (TB) patients as compared to 2020.

In 2022, the highest case notification rate among states was seen in Delhi (546 per lakh population) and the lowest in Kerala (67 per lakh population). 

Of the total cases, about 39 % were female, 5.6% belonged to the paediatric age group (less than or equal to 14 years of age), and 23.6% were 55 years or above, the report said.

The report also said 2022 saw the highest private TB case notifications achieved so far - 7.3 lakhs. 

The treatment initiation rate among the notified cases for 2022 was 95.5%. 

In 2019-2021, a higher prevalence of pulmonary TB was found in older age groups, including males, malnourished, smokers, alcoholics and known diabetics. 

It was also found that the majority (64%) of TB-symptomatic individuals did not seek health care. 

The common reasons cited for not seeking care were ignoring the symptoms (68%), not recognising the signs to be that of TB (18%), self-treatment (12%), and not being able to afford care (2%).

The report said 2022 saw an increase of 32% in the number of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR)/ Rifampicin-resistant (RR)-TB cases compared to 2021. In 2022, the total number of patients diagnosed was 63,801. 

The estimated incidence of MDR/RR-TB in 2021 was 119,000 (93,000-145,000), as per the Global TB Report 2022.

During the pandemic, a significant reduction was observed in the total number of Drug Resistant (DR)-TB patients compared to 2019. 

In India, it is estimated that the five risk factors to which TB cases are mainly attributed are: undernourishment (7,38,000), harmful use of alcohol (2,58,000), smoking (1,10,000), diabetes (1,05,000) and HIV (93,000). 

These risk factors together account for 44 percent of the total estimated incident TB in India, the report added.

India aims to eliminate TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 2030.

With 28 percent of cases, India was among the eight countries accounting for more than two-thirds (or 68.3 per cent) of the total TB patients’ count, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.


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