New Delhi, October 15: With over four lakh people succumbing to Tuberculosis every year and more than 60 lakh cases are reported in the country, according to the latest research report.
After the recent poor ranking on the global hunger index and an alarming position on the depression data worldwide, the TB data is another dubious distinction for India in health sector. The latest World health Organization report on Tuberculosis has put India in the list of top sufferers accounting for around 26 % of world’s TB patients.
Looking at the dreadful data , the country does need a sort of ‘surgical strike ‘ to wipe out this enemy of our population.
The Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 , released recently by the WHO says that Tuberculosis epidemic in India is “larger” than what was previously estimated, while asserting that the country was one of six nations which accounted for 60 per cent of the new cases in 2015.
“The TB epidemic is larger than previously estimated, reflecting new surveillance and survey data from India. However, the number of TB deaths and the TB incidence rate continue to fall globally and in India,” WHO said.
It said that in 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new (incident) TB cases worldwide, of which 5.9 million (56 per cent) were among men, 3.5 million (34 per cent) among women and 1.0 million (10 per cent) among children while people living with HIV accounted for 1.2 million (11 per cent) of all new TB cases.
It said that the disease claims the lives of 1.8 million people worldwide each year.
The WHO also revealed that these six countries have 60% of the burden: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. Emphasizing that TB cases in India are hugely under-reported, the report said that only 56 per cent cases were officially reported across the country in 2014, and 59 per cent cases in 2015.
“India, China and the Russian Federation accounted for 45 per cent of the combined total of 580000 cases. There were an estimated 1.4 million TB deaths in 2015, and an additional 0.4 million deaths resulting from TB disease among people living with HIV. Although the number of TB deaths fell by 22 per centbetween 2000 and 2015, TB remained one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2015,” it said.
WHO said that in 2015, 6.1 million new TB cases were notified to national authorities and reported to WHO while notified TB cases increased from 2013–2015, mostly due to a 34 per cent increase in notifications in India.
Commenting on the latest findings, National TB Control Programme deputy director general Dr Sunil Khaparde was quoted as saying, "the aggregate numbers have increased since more cases are being reported."
In India, TB is infected highly and many people are unaware of it. This is because of the lack of accurate reporting system in place
In 2015, there were an estimated 4.80 lakh new cases of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and an additional 1 lakh people with rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB), the report said. India, China, and Russia accounted for 45 percent of the combined total cases, according to the WHO report. In 2015, 61 lakhs new tuberculosis cases were notified to national authorities and reported to the WHO.
According to the report, there were an estimated 1.04 crore new (incident) TB cases worldwide in 2015. There were an estimated 14 lakh deaths due to TB, and an additional 4 lakh deaths resulting from TB disease among people living with HIV. The report said that TB treatment averted 4.9 crore deaths globally between 2000 and 2015, but important diagnostic and treatment gaps persist.
Dr. Madhukar Pai, director, McGill Global Health programme, Canada, said that higher TB estimates from India reflect the underlying reality. “India ignored TB patients for a long time in the private sector, and national prevalence and drug resistance surveys were not done,” Pai said. “The Indian TB programme is also heavily reliant on insensitive diagnostic tools such as sputum smears that miss many TB cases.”
As for India, Pai said the “message is clear: acknowledge the reality, collect better data on the true burden of tuberculosis deaths and drug resistance, and allocate greater funding to tackle this huge problem.”