According to the World Health Organisation’s 2022 Global TB report, nearly 10.6 million individuals in the world were diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in the year 2021, witnessing an increase of 4.5% from 2020. In fact, 1.6 million patients succumbed to the bacterial disease, according to the WHO report. The data of 1.6 million people dying due to TB, also included 1,87,000 HIV positive cases, as per the World Health Organisation’s 2022 Global TB report.
The report, which was released on Thursday, said that India was in the list of the top eight countries accounting for 28% cases, i.e over two-third (or 68.3%) of the total number of TB patients. The other countries were Indonesia (9.2% cases), China (7.4%), the Philippines (7%), Pakistan (5.8%), Nigeria (4.4%), Bangladesh (3.6%), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2.9%).
The caseload of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) also spiked by 3% between the years 2020 and 2021, with 4,50,000 fresh cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) in 2021. This is the first time in several years, where we witnessed an increase in the number of people suffering from the disease, TB and drug resistant TB. TB services along with many others were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, but its effect on the TB response has been very severe. The current conflicts in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East have also worsened the conditions for the vulnerable population.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, "If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that with solidarity, determination, innovation and the equitable use of tools, we can overcome severe health threats. Let’s apply those lessons to tuberculosis. It is time to put a stop to this long-time killer. Working together, we can end TB."