India in top 30 with highest Tuberculosis burden

India stands in the top 30 countries carrying the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) cases across the world.

Published: 29th October 2022 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2022 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

Tuberculosis TB

Image used for representational purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  India stands in the top 30 countries carrying the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) cases across the world. TB was called the second most infectious killer after Covid-19, affecting the lungs in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global TB report released on Thursday.

The report showed that around 10.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis in 2021, a 4.5 per cent increase since 2020, and 1.6 million people died. This is the first time such an increase was reported in the number of people falling ill with TB and drug-resistant TB in the past few years.

Men accounted for 56.5 per cent, women for 32.5 per cent and children for 11 per cent of the TB burden. Many new cases were attributed to five major factors -- undernutrition, HIV infection, alcohol use disorders, smoking and diabetes. TB services were among many other services disrupted by the Covid pandemic in 2021, but its impact on tuberculosis was particularly severe.

A decline in global spending on essential TB services from US $6 billion in 2019 to US $5.4 billion in 2021 was seen, which was half of the global target of US $13 billion annually by 2022. The report also noted that the number of people newly diagnosed with TB fell from 7.1 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020. Partial recovery of 6.4 million was seen in 2021, but it was well below pre-pandemic levels. The three countries that accounted for most of the reduction in 2020 were India, Indonesia and the Philippines (67 per cent of the global total). They made partial recoveries in 2021, but still accounted for 60 per cent of the global reduction, compared with 2019.

 “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that with solidarity, determination, innovation and the equitable use of tools, we can overcome severe health threats. Let’s apply those lessons to tuberculosis. It is time to put a stop to this long-time killer,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO DG.


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