Highlight of Global Tuberculosis Report, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently released the Global Tuberculosis Report, 2020. The report Highlights the impact of COVID-19 on Tuberculosis (TB) related deaths. It says that COVID-19 might increase the TB deaths by 0.2 to 0.4 million worldwide.

Key Findings

  • As per the report, India registered a decline in Tuberculosis cases by 85% in April 2020 after the lockdown was imposed. However, the number of TB deaths could be between 2,00,000 and 4,00,000.
  • Philippines, Indonesia and South Africa accounted to 44% of global TB cases in the world.
  • India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Russia accounts for two-thirds of global TB cases.
  • Largest burden of drug-resistant TB were reported in India, China and Russia.
  • TB cases reduced by 9% while TB deaths increased by 14% between 2015 and 2019.
  • As per the report, around 14 million people were treated between 2018 and 2019 for TB. Report says, treatment is moving ahead of the five-year target,  set by WHO, of reaching 40 million between 2018 and 2022. But, the COVID-19 is the biggest hurdle to achieve these targets currently.

Why TB deaths have increased?

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical staffs have been reallocated to look after the corona patients. Because of the, TB patients are not being given proper care.  Other reasons could be – restriction in movement of people, procurement and transportation of TB medicines have been reduced and the loss of wages. This has made difficult for people to access the health centres and proper treatment.

TB Cases in India

India accounts to 26% of total global TB cases which stands at the highest burden in the world.