Health International

World Tuberculosis Day: 11 Key Facts About The Infectious Disease

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS.
  • In 2016, 2.5 million people fell ill with Tuberculosis in the African region, accounting for a quarter of new Tuberculosis cases worldwide.
  • An estimated 417,000 people died from the disease in the African region (1.7 million globally) in 2016. Over 25% of TB deaths occur in the African Region.
  • Seven countries account for 64% of the new Tuberculosis cases in 2016, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, and South Africa.
  • In 2016, an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 250 000 children died of TB (including children with HIV associated TB).
  • TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people: in 2016, 40% of HIV deaths were due to TB.
  • About 82% of TB deaths among HIV-negative people occurred in the WHO African Region and the WHO South-East Asia Region in 2016
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 451,551 new cases with resistance to rifampicin in the African region – the most effective first-line drug.
  • Globally, TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year. This needs to accelerate to a 4–5% annual decline to reach the 2020 milestones of the End TB Strategy.
  • Globally an estimated 53 million lives were saved between 2000 and 2015 and 10 million lives were saved in the African Region between 2000 and 2014 through TB diagnosis and treatment.
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