TB cases rose by 18 per cent in Covid-hit 2021: WHO

India was among the three countries — others being Indonesia and the Philippines — that accounted for most of the reduction in 2020 (67 per cent of the global total).

Published: 30th October 2022 08:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2022 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

Tuberculosis TB

Image used for representational purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

NEW DELHI: A total of 21.4 lakh tuberculosis (TB) cases were notified in India in 2021 — 18 per cent higher than 2020 — with over 22 crore people screened for the disease across the country for early detection and treatment, according to the WHO’S Global TB report. With 28 per cent cases, India was among the eight countries accounting for more than two-third (or 68.3 per cent) of the total TB patients’ count, the World Health Organisation report, released on Thursday said.

Of the total TB deaths, 187,000 patients were also positive for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Nearly 82 per cent of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people occurred in the African and South-East Asia regions, with India alone accounting for 36 per cent of such deaths, the report further said.
India was among the three countries — others being Indonesia and the Philippines — that accounted for most of the reduction in 2020 (67 per cent of the global total).

These countries made partial recoveries in 2021, but still accounted for 60 per cent of the global reduction compared with 2019, said the report, which also highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the diagnosis, treatment, and burden of disease for TB all over the world. The report said around 10.6 million people across the world were diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2021, an increase of 4.5 per cent from 2020, while 1.6 million patients died of the disease.

Taking note of the WHO report, the Union Health Ministry on Friday said that India has, in fact, performed “far better” on major metrics as compared to other countries over time. “India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population — compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh of population in India); there has been an 18 per cent decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11 per cent,” the ministry said in a statement. These figures also place India at the 36th position in terms of incidence rates (from largest to smallest incidence numbers), it said. Under the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, an initiative of the government, more than 40,000 Nikshay Mitra are supporting over 10.45 lakh TB patients all over the country presently, the Union Health Ministry said.

The ministry further said that while the Covid-19 pandemic impacted TB programmes across the world, India was able to successfully offset the disruptions through the introduction of critical interventions in 2020 and 2021, which led to the National TB Elimination Programme notifying over 21.4 lakh TB cases – 18 per cent higher than 2020.

It said the success can be attributed to an array of measures implemented in the programme over the years.
The statement said before the publication of the global report, the health ministry had communicated to WHO that the ministry has initiated domestic studies to arrive at a more accurate estimate of incidence and mortality rates in a systematic manner and India’s data will be provided after conclusion of studies in early part of 2023, the statement said.


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