Fewer people died of tuberculosis in India in 2016 as compared to previous year, the Global Tuberculosis Report 2017 said.
The previous year, total mortality due to the disease was 5.17 lakh in the country, but in 2016 the number of deaths because of tuberculosis was down to 4.35 lakh – a reduction of about 15%. The number of new TB cases in the country has also come down marginally, from 28.40 lakh to 27.90 lakh.
However, cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis – in which the infection is resistant to first-line drug rifampicin – have increased from 1.3 lakh to 1.47 lakh. Almost half of the six lakh rifampicin resistant multi-drug resistant tuberculosis cases in the world were in India, China, and Russian Federation.
The World Health Organization report noted that India has almost tripled its budget for tuberculosis prevention, control and treatment programme as compared to last year. The total amount spent on the country’s TB programme is $525 million, or about Rs 3,400 crore. Early this year, the government had announced it would eliminate tuberculosis in the country by 2025.
From $124 million in 2016, India’s budget to control the disease is now $387 million, the report noted. The domestic budget accounts for 74% of the total budget for the Revised National Tuberculosis Programme, while the remaining 26% of the budget comes from international sources.
In 2016, only 38% of the total budget for the programme came from domestic sources while 62% came from international sources. The report attributed the increase in the budget to the political commitment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the government’s goal of ending TB by 2025.
Worldwide, 10.4 million new cases of the disease were reported. India is one of the five countries that stood out as having the most new TB cases in 2016, including China, Philippines, and Pakistan.
The report, however, said that underreporting and under-diagnosis of TB cases is common across the world because of an unregulated private sector and weak health systems. Of the estimated 10.4 million new cases, only 6.3 million were detected and officially notified in 2016, leaving around 4.1 million undetected. India, Indonesia, and Nigeria account for almost half of this gap.