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Tuberculosis in India

India is the world's TB capital recording an estimated 1.9 million new cases every year. However only 70% of these are actually detected and put on the highly effective DOTS programme. Each of these active TB patients left undetected goes on to infect 10-15 people on an average every year. These are the findings of WHO's latest global tuberculosis control report which warned of a global slowdown in case detection rates specially in India and China. Between 2001 and 2005 detection rates were increasing by 6% a year globally but in 2006 this rate was halved to 3%.The report said India and China accounted for an estimated 28% of all undetected new smear-positive cases in 2006.According to WHO Stop TB director Mario Raviglione more new TB cases are slipping through the detection net.

India saw TB case detection rates increase by 10%-12% between 2001-05.However it fell to 5% in 2006.This could be because India's revised National TB Control Programme which made rapid strides during the previous five years has almost completed all planned expansions and was therefore unable to continue at the same pace in 2006.The report said that for every 5 TB cases diagnosed globally in 2006, four went detected.WHO estimates that a third of the world's population is infected with TB which depletes the incomes of the world's poorest communities by $ 12 billion a year.

However only 61% of all cases worldwide are registered. In 2006 some 9.2 million new cases of TB were detected against 9.1 million in 2005.WHO expects funding to combat tuberculosis to remain flat in 2008 in almost all the countries most affected by the disease. An additional $1 billion is needed across the 90 nations which provided financial data to WHO to fight resistant strains and TB-HIV co-infection. By region Africa had the highest TB rates while Asia had the most cases. By nation India had the most cases followed by China, Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria according to the report based on data from 202 countries and territories.

  • An estimated 1.5 m people died from TB in 2006.

  • Another 200,000 people with HIV died from HIV-associated TB.

  • Africa, Southeast Asia and the western pacific accounted for 83% of notified cases.

  • Only 61% of all TB cases worldwide are registered.

  • New TB cases detection rate fell to 3% a year between 2005-06 from 6% between 2001 and 2005.

  • For every 5 TB cases diagnosed in 2006, four went undetected.

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