ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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High Time to End Tuberculosis

The time to act is now if we want to eradicate tuberculosis by 2030.

The global burden of tuberculosis is in decline. However, with an estimated 10 million new cases of tuberculosis and 1.6 million dying from the disease globally in 2017, we still have a long way to go. A centuries-old disease, tuberculosis, previously known as “consumption,” is still the deadliest infectious disease in the world, with patients and their families facing stigma and incurring devastating socio-economic costs. The United Nations’ first-ever high level meeting on tuberculosis, held on 26 September 2018, has committed to accelerating efforts and increasing funding towards achieving the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals to end the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030. India, which accounts for 27% of the world’s tuberculosis burden, had set its own target at the End-TB Summit in Delhi earlier this year: TB Free India by 2025. Considering the state of India’s healthcare, this may be an unrealistic target.

The under-reporting of tuberculosis cases has been a perpetual issue hampering efforts at estimating, controlling and treating the disease. Of the 10 million estimated cases worldwide, the number of cases actually reported is only 6.4 million, and India alone accounts for 26% of the 3.6 million global gap in the reporting of tuberculosis cases. Though the number of reported cases from India has seen a jump since 2013, largely attributed to increased reporting from the private health sector, the underreporting of tuberculosis cases that have been detected and the under-diagnosis of the disease itself make a treatable and curable disease like tuberculosis deadly and rampant.

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Updated On : 24th Mar, 2021
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