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Global TB Report 2023

  • 09 Nov 2023
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Global TB Report 2023, Tuberculosis (TB), Covid-19, Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
For Mains: Global TB Report 2023, Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Source: IE

Why in News?

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Tuberculosis (TB) report 2023, highlighting the high burden of TB worldwide in 2022.

  • India accounted for the highest number of TB cases in the world in 2022, with 2.8 million TB cases, representing 27% of the global burden.

What are the Key Findings of the Global TB Report 2023?

  • Burden of TB:
    • It was the world's second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent in 2022, following Covid-19.
    • TB caused almost twice as many deaths as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome stage (AIDS). More than 10 million people continue to fall ill with TB every year.
    • 30 high burden TB countries collectively accounted for 87% of the world's TB cases in 2022.
      • Among the top eight high burden countries, in addition to India, are Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Increase in TB Diagnosis:
    • In 2022, 7.5 million people were diagnosed with TB, marking the highest figure recorded since WHO began global TB monitoring in 1995.
  • High Mortality Without Treatment:
    • Without treatment, the death rate from TB disease is high, at about 50%.
    • However, with treatments currently recommended by WHO (a 4–6 months course of anti-TB drugs), about 85% of people with TB can be cured.
  • Global Recovery in TB Diagnosis and Treatment:
    • There is a positive global recovery in the number of people diagnosed with TB and treated in 2022, following two years of Covid-19-related disruptions.
    • Countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, accounted for over 60% of the global reductions.
  • TB Incidence Rate:
    • The TB incidence rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population per year, increased by 3.9% between 2020 and 2022.
    • This increase reversed the declining trend of about 2% per year that had been observed for most of the past two decades.

What are the Findings Related to India?

  • TB Case Fatality Ratio in India:
    • India reported a case fatality ratio of 12%, indicating that 12% of TB cases in the country resulted in death.
    • The report estimates that 3,42,000 TB-related deaths occurred in India in 2022, with 3,31,000 among HIV-negative individuals and 11,000 among those with HIV.
  • Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB):
    • India recorded 1.1 lakh cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in 2022, highlighting the continued challenge of MDR-TB as a public health crisis.

What are the Recommendations of the Report?

  • Urgent action is required to end the global TB epidemic by 2030, a goal that has been adopted by all Member States of the United Nations (UN) and the WHO.
  • Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is essential to ensure that all people who need treatment for TB disease or infection can access these treatments.
  • Multisectoral action is also needed to address TB determinants such as poverty, undernourishment, HIV infection, smoking, and diabetes to reduce the number of people acquiring infection and developing TB disease.

What is Tuberculosis?

  • About:
    • Tuberculosis is an infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can practically affect any organ of the body. The most common ones are lungs, pleura (lining around the lungs), lymph nodes, intestines, spine, and brain.
  • Transmission:
    • It is an airborne infection that spreads through close contact with the infected, especially in densely populated spaces with poor ventilation.
  • Symptoms:
    • Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
  • Treatment:
    • TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
    • Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
  • Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB):
    • It is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs.
    • MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs such as Bedaquiline.
      • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.

What are the Initiatives to Combat TB?

  • Global Efforts:
  • India’s Efforts:
    • National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis Elimination (2017-2025), The Nikshay Ecosystem (National TB information system), Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY- financial support), TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign.
    • Currently, two vaccines VPM (Vaccine Projekt Management) 1002 and MIP (Mycobacterium Indicus Pranii) have been developed and identified for TB, and are under Phase-3 clinical trial.
    • In 2018 Nikshay Poshan Yojna was launched, which aimed to support every Tuberculosis (TB) Patient by providing a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of Rs 500 per month for nutritional needs.

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