About one third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. Only a small proportion of those infected will become sick with TB. People with weakened immune systems have a much greater risk of falling ill from TB. A person living with HIV is about 26 to 31 times more likely to develop active TB.
One of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is to end the global TB epidemic. The WHO “End TB Strategy”, approved by the World Health Assembly in 2014, calls for a 90% reduction in TB deaths and an 80% reduction in the TB incidence rate by 2030, compared with 2016.
New data from WHO reveal that the global TB burden is higher than previously estimated. Countries need to move much faster to prevent, detect and treat TB if the “End TB Strategy” targets are to be achieved in the next 15 years.
QUICK FACTS ON TB
1. In 2016, seven countries, led by India accounted for 64% of the 10.4 million new cases recorded worldwide. Others in the list include Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa in that order.
2. A total of 1.7 million people died in 2016 (including 0.4m people with HIV). TB was 1 one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2016 ranking above HIV and malaria.
3. In 2016, 1 million children fell ill with TB, and 210, 000 died due to TB. Childhood TB is often overlooked by health providers as it can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
4. Worldwide the number of people falling ill with TB is declining and the number of deaths dropped 37% between 2000 and 2016.
5. In 2016, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for about 87% of new TB cases. Tb occurs in every part of the world, but the majority of cases are in Asia (61%) and in Africa (26%).
6. TB treatment saved 53 million lives globally between 2000 and 2016, but important diagnostic and treatment gaps persist. The treatment success rate for people with Tb was 83% in 2015
7. For TB care and prevention, investments in low and middle-income countries fell almost US$ 2.3 billion short of the US$ 9.2 needed in 2017.