Although the number of new tuberculosis (TB) cases, the world's deadliest infectious disease, continued to decline in 2017, India accounts for 27% of the 10 million people who developed the disease in 2017, said the World Health Organization's (WHO's) 2018 Global TB report.
"TB is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide, and since 2011 it has been the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS," the report said, adding that it claims over 4,000 lives a day.
The report said that of distribution of the 10 million people, who developed the disease in 2017, 5.8 million were men, 3.2 million were women and 1.0 million were children. It further said that the disease was spread across the world, but two-thirds were from eight countries, with India leading the pack.
"Two thirds were in eight countries: India (27%), China (9%), Indonesia (8%), the Philippines (6%), Pakistan (5%), Nigeria (4%), Bangladesh (4%) and South Africa (3%). These and 22 other countries in WHO’s list of 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of the world’s cases. Only 6% of global cases were in the WHO European Region (3%) and WHO Region of the Americas (3%)," said the report.
The report said that these eight nations and 22 other countries in the WHO's list of 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of the world's cases. Only six per cent of the global cases were in the WHO European Region - three per cent and WHO Region of the Americas - three per cent.
India also led in terms of cases of drug-resistant TB. The best estimate is that worldwide in 2017, 558,000 people developed TB that was resistant to rifampicin (RR-TB), the most effective first-line drug, and of these, 82 per cent had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Of the three countries that accounted for nearly half of the world's cases of MDR-RB, India was the highest with 24 percent, followed by China (13%) and Russia (10%).
An estimated epidemiological burden of TB in 2017 for the 30 high TB burden countries, WHO regions and globally for India's total TB burden incidence to be 2.74 million, the highest.
India accounted for 32 per cent of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people, and for 27 per cent of the combined total TB deaths in HIV-negative and HIV-positive people.