India’s success in reducing TB incidence acknowledged in WHO’s Global TB Report 2023: Health Ministry

NEW DELHI, Nov 8: India’s success in reducing the incidence of tuberculosis by 16 per cent and mortality due to it by 18 per cent since 2015 has been acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its Global TB Report 2023, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
According to the report, India has made tremendous progress in improving case detection and reversed the impact of COVID-19 on the TB programme, it said.
“The treatment coverage has improved to 80 per cent of the estimated TB cases, an increase of 19 per cent over the previous year,” the ministry said, citing the report.
India’s efforts have resulted in the reduction of tuberculosis incidence by 16 per cent in 2022 from 2015, almost double the pace at which global TB incidence is declining (which is 8.7 per cent), it said, adding that mortality due to the disease has also reduced by 18 per cent during the same period in India.
“The World Health Organization has made a downward revision of the TB mortality rates from 4.94 lakhs in 2021 to 3.31 lakhs in 2022, a reduction of over 34 per cent,” the ministry said.
In the Global TB Report 2022, the WHO and the Health Ministry had agreed to publish the data for India as “interim” with an understanding that the WHO would work with the technical team of the ministry, to finalise the figures.
Following this, there were more than 50 meetings between the technical teams of WHO and the health ministry. At the meetings, the ministry’s team presented all new evidence generated, the in-country mathematical modelling developed including the data from Ni-kshay portal which captures the lifecycle of every TB patient during the course of their treatment, the ministry said.
“The WHO team intensively reviewed all data presented and not only accepted but also appreciated the efforts made by the country. This year, the Global TB Report has acknowledged and published the revised estimates for India with a downward revision of the burden estimates, especially TB-related mortality figures,” it stated.
The report notes that India’s intensified case detection strategies have resulted in the highest-ever notification of cases in 2022, during which over 24.22 lakh TB cases were notified, surpassing the pre-COVID levels.
The key initiatives launched and scaled up by the government such as specialised active case finding drives, scaling up of molecular diagnostics to block levels, decentralisation of screening services through Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres and private sector engagement have resulted in significantly bridging the gap in missing cases.
The Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan has received a tremendous response across the country with over 1 lakh Ni-kshay Mitras from all walks of life coming forward to adopt over 11 lakh TB patients.
Under Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana about Rs 2,613 crore have been disbursed to over 95 lakh TB patients since its launch in 2018. (PTI)