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India Worst-hit in TB elimination – ‘Global TB report’ by WHO

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On 14th October 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released the ‘Global TB report’ for 2021, where it highlighted the effects of COVID-19 which led to a huge reversal in the progress of Tuberculosis (TB) elimination. The report also mentioned India as the worst-hit country in TB elimination, where the detection of new TB cases saw a huge impact in 2020.

  • A dramatic reduction of 20% TB cases were witnessed in 2020 as compared to 2019, ie; a gap of 4.1 million cases.
  • The progress in TB detection has gone back to the levels of 2012, with India accounting for 41% of the total case drops in 2020.

Note – Lakshadweep is India’s 1st TB free Union Territory, which is inline with India’s target of eliminating TB by 2025.

Other Findings:

Similarities in Symptoms of TB & COVID-19 was the biggest player in the disease detection.

A major case cited was the disruption in diagnosis of TB and providing early treatment services. In 2020, there was a 21% reduction in receiving proper service

TB, which was ranked 13th leading cause of death in 2019, became the 2nd leading cause of death in 2020.

Death Toll Increase – Patients with TB but no HIV co-infection increased by 1 lakh in 2020 compared to 2019, whereas death rates in patients with TB & HIV co-infection increased by 5,000. ie; equivalent to 2017 scenario.

Increasing the rate of TB diagnosis using either Bacteria culture or Rapid Tests can be a proper step for TB elimination.

Recent Related News:

World Tuberculosis Day is annually observed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 24th March, to create awareness on Tuberculosis.Theme of 2021 – ‘The Clock is Ticking’

About World Health Organisation (WHO):
Established – 7 April 1948
1st Director-General – Brock Chisholm (Canada)
Current Director General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland