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India tops list of new TB cases in 2016 – WHO

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According to ‘Global TB Report 2017’ released by World Health Organization (WHO), India has topped the list of seven countries, accounting for 64 per cent of the 10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016.

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease which affects the lung and is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB).

  • Cough, fever, weight loss and night sweats are typical symptoms of TB. It is an airborne disease i.e. transmitted through air.
  • Every year 24thMarch is observed as ‘World Tuberculosis Day’ across the world.

Highlights of ‘Global TB Report 2017’:

In 2016, nearly 7 million people died from TB, marking a 4% drop as compared to 2015 report.India tops list of new TB cases in 2016 - WHO

  • It is estimated that out of the 1.7 million people who died from TB in 2016, around 400000 people were co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus(HIV).
  • In terms of new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016, India is followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa.
  • As per the report, around 490000, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases were registered in 2016. Almost half of these cases were reported from India, China and Russia.
  • The report has outlined that although global efforts against tuberculosis (TB) have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37 per cent, it still remains the top infectious killer in 2016.
  • Underreporting and underdiagnosis of TB cases has been noticed in countries with unregulated private sectors and weak health systems.
  • People living with HIV and children less than 5 years, are the two priority risk groups which are currently receiving TB preventive treatment.
  • As per WHO officials, shortfall in TB funding has been cited as one of the main reason that is hampering the progress to reach the end TB targets.