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Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to health.

Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 


What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings of the report.

For Mains: India’s TB burden, efforts and measures needed.


Context: The report has been released by WHO.

The report provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in the response at global, regional and country levels for India.


Key findings and observations:

  1. Tuberculosis incidence rate in India has decreased by almost 50,000 patients over the past one year (26.9 lakh TB patients in India in 2018).
  2. Incidence per 1,00,000 population has decreased from 204 in 2017 to 199 in 2018.
  3. Number of patients being tested for rifampicin resistance has increased from 32% in 2017 to 46% in 2018.
  4. Treatment success rate has increased to 81% for new and relapse cases (drug sensitive) in 2017, which was 69% in 2016.


Global scenario:

  1. TB remains the top infectious killer in the world claiming over 4,000 lives a day.
  2. However, more people received life-saving treatment in 2018 than ever before, largely due to improved detection and diagnosis. 
  3. Reduction in the number of TB deaths: 5 million people died from TB in 2018, down from 1.6 million in 2017. 
  4. Number of new cases of TB has been declining steadily in recent years.
  5. The burden remains high among low-income and marginalized populations: around 10 million people developed TB in 2018.


Challenges present:

  1. Fragile health infrastructure and workforce shortages.
  2. Weak reporting systems.
  3. More out-of-pocket expenditure.
  4. Drug resistance.
  5. Fight against TB remains chronically underfunded.


Way ahead:

  • The world must accelerate progress if it is to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of ending TB by 2030.
  • Sustained progress on TB will require strong health systems and better access to services. That means a renewed investment in primary health care and a commitment to universal health coverage.
  • There is an urgent need for funding of TB research and development, with an annual shortfall of US$1.2 billion.
  • Priority needs include a new vaccine or effective preventive drug treatment; rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests; and safer, simpler, shorter drug regimens to treat TB.


Global TB targets:

SDG 3.3 includes a target of ending the TB epidemic by 2030

The World Health Assembly-approved Global TB Strategy aims for a 90 per cent reduction in TB deaths and an 80 per cent reduction in the TB incidence rate by 2030 compared with 2015 levels. The Strategy established milestones for 2020 of a 35% reduction in TB deaths and a 20% reduction in the TB incidence rate from 2015 levels.


The UN Political Declaration on TB in 2018 includes 4 new global targets:

  1. Treat 40 million people for TB disease in the 5-year period 2018-22 (7 million in 2018).
  2. Reach at least 30 million people with TB preventive treatment for a latent TB infection in the 5-year period 2018-22.
  3. Mobilize at least US$13 billion annually for universal access to TB diagnosis, treatment and care by 2022.
  4. Mobilize at least US$2 billion annually for TB research.


TB facts:

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.
  2. About one-quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit it.
  3. The highest burden of TB in 2018 is in 8 countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa.


Sources: the Hindu.