WHO publishes 2016 Global Tuberculosis Report

In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new Tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide. Six countries accounted for 60% of the new cases: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. Global progress depends on major advances in TB prevention and care in these countries. These are the findings recently published in the WHO’s 2016 Global Tuberculosis Report.

Although the incidence of TB is slowly declining worldwide, with the rate of decline amounting to 1.5% from 2014 to 2015, the total number of affected people remains high. The WHO report reveals that the TB epidemic is even larger than previously estimated, reflecting new surveillance and survey data from India.

More than half of the new TB cases affected men (5.9 million), a third were among women (3.5 million) and one tenth among children (1.0 million). People living with HIV accounted for 1.2 million (11%) of all new TB cases, most of them from Africa.

A TB infection can be treated with appropriate medication. However, the WHO estimates that almost 600,000 infected people have developed a drug-resistant TB, which cannot be fought with the established mix of antibiotics but have to be tackled with more specified drugs.

Despite the fact that TB can be treated, an estimated 1.4 million people died of TB in 2014, with an additional 400,000 HIV-infected people dying of TB. Although the total number of TB deaths has decreased by 22% since the beginning of the century, this infectious disease is still one of the ten most common causes of death worldwide.

In its 2016 report, the WHO therefore calls for an increase in funding levels to end the global TB epidemic.

You can download the 2016 Global Tuberculosis Report here.