India tops list of new TB cases in 2016: Global TB Report


New Delhi: India tops the list of seven nations, accounting for 64 per cent of the 10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016, said a Global TB Report 2017, released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday.

It is followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa.

“In 2016, there were an estimated 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide, 10 per cent of which were people living with HIV. Seven countries accounted for 64 per cent of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt,” it said.

An estimated 1.7 million people died from TB, including nearly 400,000 co-infected with HIV, recording a drop by 4 per cent as compared to 2015.

Also, India along with China and Russia accounted for almost half of the 490,000, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases registered in 2016.

“Only one in five MDR-TB cases were started on treatment. India and China accounted for 39 per cent of the global gap. Treatment success remains low, at 54 per cent globally,” it said.

Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme, said: “The sheer numbers of deaths and suffering speak for themselves – we are not accelerating fast enough.”

“Prompt action towards universal health coverage and social protection, as well as breakthroughs in research and innovations – will be critical to enable access to patient-centered care of the highest standards for all, especially the poorest, most disadvantaged people everywhere.”

According to the report, underreporting and under diagnosis of TB cases continues to be a challenge, especially in countries with large unregulated private sectors and weak health systems.

“Of the estimated 10.4 million new cases, only 6.3 million were detected and officially notified in 2016, leaving a gap of 4.1 million. India, Indonesia and Nigeria accounted for almost half of this global gap,” said the report, which also says that some of the initiatives and efforts by the global bodies have yielded good results and saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37 per cent.

However, it said that despite these achievements, the latest picture is grim.

“TB remains the top infectious killer in 2016. TB is also the main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV,” it said.