India under-reported TB for 15 years: WHO

  • Inaccurate estimates of the tuberculosis burden in India between 2000-2015, has led the World Health Organisation (WHO) to seriously underestimate the global TB epidemic.
  • The most crucial finding of the latest Global TB Report 2016 is that India had reported only 56 per cent of its TB burden in 2014 and 59 per cent in 2015. This massive underestimating will result in health authorities revising the global TB data.
  • The WHO has noted with concern that the TB burden is, “larger than previously estimated, reflecting new surveillance and survey data from India.”
  • In 2015, an estimated 10.4 million people were infected with TB around the world — which is a jump of 500,000 from 2014. The disease killed 1.4 million worldwide in 2015.
  • The report said “In 2015, 6.1 million new TB cases were notified to national authorities and reported to the WHO. Notified TB cases increased from 2013–2015, mostly due to a 34 per cent increase in notifications in India.”

Revised estimates

  • The revised estimates put the incidence of TB in India at 217 per 1,00,000 population in 2015 as against the previously estimated 127 per 1,00,000. The report was released on Thursday and the WHO stated that the size of the epidemic has increased considerably because researchers have realised that earlier estimates in India — for the previous 15 years — were too low.
  • According to the WHO, the substantial increase in reporting from India is due to the policy of mandatory TB notification.

Source: The Hindu

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