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2019 edition of the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report released by WHO; Maximum TB cases are in India

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On October 17, 2019, the World Health Organisation(WHO) has released the Global Tuberculosis(TB) report 2019. The aim of the report was to provide data on TB (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) assessments and the progress in prevention and diagnosis of the disease in all regional and country level.Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 2019

Report on India:

  • 8 countries reported for 2/3rd of global TB. Among them, India topped the list in high burden TB reported countries. India reported 27% of total TB cases around the world. It was followed by China(9%), Indonesia(8%), Pakistan(6%) and Bangladesh(4%). It also had 27% of total drug resistant TB of total 130,000 such cases. China reported 14% of drug resistant cases.
  • Unreported cases: Despite 2.69 million cases that emerged in 2018, only 2.15 million cases were reported where 5.4 lakh cases in India were unreported for TB.
  • Reduction in TB cases: In 2018, the no. of TB patients was 26.9 lakh which came down by 50,000 from its previous estimate of 27.4lakhs in 2017. The TB incidence per 1lakh population also decreased to 199 in 2018 from 204 in 2017. The mortality rate reduced to 32 per lakh in 2018 from 60 deaths in 2017.
  • End of TB: The govt plans to end TB completely by 2025 , 5 years ahead of the global TB elimination as part of Sustainable Development Goals(SDG)  by 2030.

Global report:

  • Unreported cases: globally 3 million TB cases were unreported to the national TB programme. TB is also reported to be the leading killer of people living with AIDS(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)/HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • TB resistance to rifampicin: Rifampicin is an anti TB drug. Patience tested for resistance toward this rifampicin drug have eventually increased to 46% in 2018 from 32% in 2017. However globally, half a million people have developed drug resistant TB. Only one in 3 of these people enrolled for treatment.
  • Treatment success rate: The success rate of treatment has also increased to 81% new and relapse(TB patient declared cured) cases in 2017 from 69 per cent in 2016. Due to the advanced and improved treatment in 2018, the deaths caused by TB were reduced to 1.5million in 2018 from 1.6million in 2017.
  • New rising cases: Though there is a reduction in new cases in recent years, 7 million new cases globally were notified in 2018, a bit increased from 6.4 million of 2017. Still 10 million people developed TB especially in low-income & marginalised populations.
  • WHO guidelines: The WHOs aim is to shift the treatment in fully oral regimens which are safer and effective in mult-drug resistant TB. The guidance package was released on 2019 World TB day which is observed annually on March 24.
  • Difficulties in treatment: some of the difficulties in providing treatment to TB were poor infrastructure, less workforce, failure in reporting cases to national authorities etc.
  • 80% of TB patients in high-burden countries  annually spend more than 20% of income on treatment.
  • Regional report: Most TB cases were from South East Asia(44%) followed by Africa(24%) and Western pacific(18%).
  • Gender oriented estimate: 57% adult men, 32% adult women and 11% of children were affected by TB.
  • Report Assessment: the TB assessment was done based on the global TB strategies and targets endorsed by WHO’s Member States, set by the United Nations (UN). It is also based on the targets in the political declaration set at the first UN high-level meeting on TB held in September 2018 in New York, United States. The first global ministerial conference on ending TB was held in November 2017 and it resulted in Moscow declaration.

About WHO:
Founded- 7 April, 1948.
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland.
Director General (DG)- Tedros Adhanom.