24 March 2011
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India
40% Of India’s Population Infected With Bacteria
Around 40% of India’s population is infected with the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. The majority however are dormant TB carriers.
What’s most worrying is that almost 70% of TB patients are aged between 15 and 54 years. While twothirds are male, TB takes a disproportionately larger toll among young females, with more than 50% of female cases occurring before 34 years of age, according to the Revised National TB Control Programme’s 2011 report, to be made public on Thursday.
Director–general of health services Dr R K Srivastava says, "By the end of 2015, India will bring in universal access for quality diagnosis and treatment for all TB patients in the community. The programme aims to achieve early detection and treatment of 90% of estimated TB cases in the community, including HIV associated TB and successful treatment 90% of all new TB patients and 85% of all previously–treated TB patients."
Meanwhile, WHO’s latest TB report released on Wednesday said that though India has around 73,000 patients suffering from multi–drug resistant TB (MDR–TB) – a type that is resistant to the most effective anti–TB drugs available today – only 1,600 of them have been found. And just 1,136 of these patients have been put on treatment.
The direct and indirect cost of TB to India amounts to an estimated $23.7 billion annually. Studies suggest that on an average three months of work time is lost due to TB, resulting in an average lost potential earning of 30% of the annual household income. India has the most new TB cases annually.
Facts & Figures
- Those with active TB when left untreated can infect on an average 15 people every year
- In 2000, the prevalence rate of TB in India was 338 per 100,000 population and the mortality due to TB was 42 per 100,000 population
- In comparison, in 2009, the prevalence of TB in India was 249 per 100,000 population and the mortality due to TB was 23 per 100,000 population