India had the highest number of Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world in 2022, says the Global TB Report 2023 by the World Health Organisation. The country accounted for 27 per cent of the total TB cases in the world. There were 28.2 lakh cases and of them, 12 per cent (3,42,000 people) died due to the disease, said the report, which was released on Tuesday.
The Global Burden
The report revealed that 30 nations accounted for 87 per cent of the world’s TB cases.
India was followed by Indonesia (10 per cent), China (7.1 per cent), the Philippines (7.0 per cent), Pakistan (5.7 per cent), Nigeria (4.5 per cent), Bangladesh (3.6 per cent), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (3.0 per cent).
The report shows India has made progress in reducing the number of cases. From 258 patients per 1,00,000 people in 2015, it has dropped to 199 per 1,00,000 people in 2022. But the rate is still far higher than the global average of 133 per 100,000.
Case Fatality Ratio
Case Fertility Ratio (CFR) — the measure of how severe a disease is — of India stood at 12 per cent, which means 12 out of 100 patients died of the disease. The figure is the double of the global average which stands at 5.8 per cent.
Singapore had the lowest score of 1 per cent while China stood at 14th spot with 4 per cent. While TB is curable, death can occur when it is diagnosed late.
What has made matters worse is the COVID-19 pandemic
The report estimated that during the pandemic, the number of deaths spiralled. Compared to pre-pandemic trends, around 60,000 more people died in India between 2020 and 2022.
The report said more than 75 lakh people from 192 countries were diagnosed with TB in 2022, marking it the highest figure recorded since WHO began monitoring the disease across the world from 1995.
A Silver Lining
The report also highlights a recovery trend in TB diagnosis and treatment services in 2022, signalling a potential reversal of the COVID-19 impact on TB control efforts.