The WHO released the Global TB Report 2022 on October 27, 2022. The Report notes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis, treatment and burden of disease for TB all over the world.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken note of the WHO Global TB Report 2022, released on October 27, 2022 and has clarified that India has, in fact, performed far better on major metrics as compared to other countries over time. India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh of population in India); there has been an 18% decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11%. These figures also place India at the 36th position in terms of incidence rates (from largest to smallest incidence numbers).
The results of the Health Ministry’s study, initiated by the Central TB Division (CTD), will be available in approximately six months’ time and shared further with WHO. These steps are in line with India conducting its own National Prevalence Survey to assess the true TB burden in the country – the world’s largest such survey ever conducted. The WHO Report notes that India is the only country to have completed such a survey in 2021, a year which saw “considerable recovery in India”.
The WHO Report also notes the crucial role of nutrition and under-nutrition as a contributory factor to the development of active TB disease. In this respect, the TB Programme’s nutrition support scheme – Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana – has proved critical for the vulnerable. During 2020 and 2021, India made cash transfers of 89 million dollars (INR 670 crores) to TB patients through a Direct Benefit Transfer programme. Moreover, in September 2022, the Honourable President of India has launched a first-of-its-kind initiative, Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan to provide additional nutritional support to those on TB treatment, through contributions from community including individuals and organizations. Till date, 40,492 donors have come forward to support over 10,45,269 patients across the Country.