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08/11/23 | 12:29 pm

WHO releases report on TB: India, Indonesia, and the Philippines report over 60% drop in cases

Tuberculosis (TB), a preventable and typically curable disease, emerged as the world's second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent last year, following coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It resulted in nearly twice as many fatalities as HIV/AIDS.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the Global Tuberculosis Report 2023, which underscores the need for urgent action to eradicate the global TB epidemic by 2030, a goal embraced by all United Nations (UN) member states and the World Health Organization.

The WHO report revealed that India, Indonesia, and the Philippines collectively contributed to over 60% of the global reduction in newly diagnosed TB cases in 2020 and 2021, and all three countries surpassed 2019 levels in 2022.

After two years of COVID-related disruptions, there was a significant global recovery in the number of people diagnosed with TB and receiving treatment in 2022. This progress has begun to mitigate the pandemic's detrimental impact on TB-related mortality and morbidity. In 2022, 7.5 million people received new TB diagnoses.

The report also pointed out that the global targets set at the initial UN high-level meeting on TB for the 5-year period from 2018 to 2022 were not met. A total of 34 million people received TB treatment, accounting for 84% of the 5-year target of 40 million. Additionally, 15.5 million people were initiated on TB preventive treatment, representing 52% of the 5-year goal of 30 million. This figure includes 3.8 million individuals in 2022, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 3.6 million reported in 2019.

The report emphasized that achieving the goal of ending the global TB epidemic necessitates translating the commitments made at the 2023 UN high-level meeting on TB into concrete actions. Furthermore, it underscored the necessity for research breakthroughs, such as the development of a new vaccine, to swiftly reduce the annual number of new TB cases worldwide to levels already attained in low-burden countries. Some nations have successfully reduced their TB burden to fewer than 10 cases and less than one death per 100,000 population annually.

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Last Updated: 13th Apr 2024