The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 13 October 2016 released the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 highlighting that countries need to move much faster to prevent, detect and treat Tuberculosis (TB) in order to meet global targets.
The report highlights the considerable inequalities among countries in enabling people with TB to access existing cost-effective diagnosis and treatment interventions that can accelerate decline in TB worldwide.
Highlights of the report
• The report signals the need for bold political commitment and increased funding.
• While efforts to respond to TB saved more than 3 million lives in 2015, however TB burden is actually higher than previously estimated, reflecting survey data from India.
• In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide.
• Six countries accounted for 60 percent of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.
• An estimated 1.8 million people died from TB in 2015, of whom 0.4 million were co-infected with HIV.
• Although global TB deaths fell by 22 percent between 2000 and 2015, the disease was one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2015.
• Gaps in testing for TB and reporting new cases remain major challenges. Of the estimated 10.4 million new cases, only 6.1 million were detected and officially notified in 2015, leaving a gap of 4.3 million.
• In addition, the rate of reduction in TB cases remained static at 1.5 percent from 2014 to 2015. This needs to accelerate to 4–5% by 2020 as per World Health Assembly-approved End TB Strategy.
• Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis. WHO estimated that 480000 people fell ill with MDR-TB in 2015.
• Three countries carry the major burden of MDR-TB – India, China, and the Russian Federation – which together account for nearly half of all cases globally.
• In 2015, 22 percent of HIV-positive TB patients were not enrolled on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
• Around 84% of the financing available in low- and middle-income countries in 2016 was from domestic sources, this was mostly accounted by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
• Other low- and middle- income countries continue to rely heavily on international donor financing, with more than 75 percent coming from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
• WHO estimates that at least an extra 1 billion US dollar per year is needed to accelerate the development of new vaccines, diagnostics, and medicines.
India under-reported TB for 15 years
• Inaccurate estimates of the tuberculosis burden in India between 2000-2015, has led the World Health Organisation (WHO) to underestimate the global TB epidemic.
• India had reported only 56 percent of its TB burden in 2014 and 59 percent in 2015.
• Since India accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s TB cases and deaths, the revisions in the estimates have had a major impact on global estimates.
• The revised estimates put the incidence of TB in India at 217 per 100000 population in 2015 as against the previously estimated 127 per 100000.
Within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, various governments have agreed on targets to end the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic both at the World Health Assembly and at the United Nations General Assembly.
The targets include 90 percent reduction in TB deaths and an 80 percent reduction in TB cases by 2030 compared with 2015.
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