Number of TB patients increased by 18 percent in the country: Govt

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New Delhi, 29 November: The central government may be claiming to make the country Tuberculosis (TB)-free by 2020, but the reality is that its number of patients has increased by 18 percent.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan gave this information in reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday. The President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi questioned the issue of freeing the country from tuberculosis.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that according to the latest Global TB report, the estimated deaths due to TB and HIV in India has decreased by 9,700 i.e. 85 percent in the year 2018 as compared to 63 thousand in the year 2010. During this period, the total estimated deaths due to TB including HIV in India has decreased by 4,49,000 i.e. 19 percent in 2018 as compared to 5,57,000 in 2010.

According to the latest Global TB Report, the estimated number of new TB cases in India was 26.9. According to the latest India TB report, there has been an 18 percent increase in the number of TB patients notified in 2018 as compared to 18,27,959 in 2017, meaning that the number has increased to 21,55,894.

The Union Minister said that according to the latest India TB report, about 59 percent of TB cases notified in 2018 were from the productive age group of 15 to 44 years. In the age group of 45 years, this figure is 35 percent, while in the age group below 15, it is six percent. The main causes of tuberculosis in India include poverty, malnutrition, living in less ventilated houses, air pollution and smoking.

Harsh Vardhan stated that the Government of India is committed to the eradication of TB by 2025, five years before the Global SDG target ie 80% reduction in incidence and 90% reduction in deaths (base year 2015). TB incidence has come down from 217 per lakh population in 2015 to 199 per lakh population in 2018. The number of deaths has also come down from 36 per lakh population in 2015 to 33 per lakh population in 2018. He said that to achieve further goals, the Ministry is implementing a National Policy Plan (2017-25) by strengthening the existing rejuvenation and focusing on various initiatives and activities.

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