India and the Global Tuberculosis(TB) report 2023: Basics Explained

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Global Tuberculosis(TB) report 2023, TB, bacterial infection, remains the world’s second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. The global number of people newly diagnosed with the disease was 7.5 million in 2022.

  • India accounts for 27% of the total TB cases in the world. Among the world’s four countries with 30 high-burden countries India’s treatment coverage was  80%.
  • Coverage of treatment increased by 19% in the country.
  • As per the report in India Diagnosis has improved and more cases are being reported.
  • TB incidence and mortality, since 2015,  have declined by 16 percent and 18 percent respectively, faster than the decline globally.


Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.
TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

When a person develops active TB disease, the symptoms (cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss, etc.) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care and results in transmission of the bacteria to others. People with active TB can infect 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.

Tuberculosis in India continues to be the leading cause of death from communicable diseases. With 1,000 deaths per day or two persons succumbing to this deadly lung disease every three minutes, 2.2 million TB cases occur in India every year. It is also estimated that there 3.5 million are sputum positive (presence of tuberculosis bacteria in sputum sample). However, with successful implementation of DOTS in India, there has been a significant rise in overall treatment rate. DOTS – Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course is the WHO-recommended strategy for tuberculosis control. It provides a definite cure for tuberculosis with a treatment course lasting from six to eight months. It is available free of cost to the patients in government hospitals in the whole nation.
In India, the Revised National TB control programme (RNTCP) shifts the responsibility for cure from the patient to the health system. DOTS has been shown to prevent the occurrence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB). It also reverses the trend of MDRTB in the suspected population and can cure TB even in HIV-positive patients.

To ensure government target of elimination TB by 2025, we need to augment not just our curative but also detection capabilities.Along with on symptomatic screening we must heavily rely portable AI-enabled X-Ray applications


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