In India, TB-HIV deaths down by 85% from 2010: Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha
The estimated deaths due to Tuberculosis- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (TB-HIV) in India has reduced by 85% from 63,000 in 2010 to 9,700 in 2018 that can largely be attributed to HIV-related deaths going down in India over the years.
In the corresponding period, total number of deaths estimated due to TB has reduced by 19% in the country from 5,57,000 in 2010 to 4,49,000 in 2018, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Friday.
Aggressive case identification and reporting has improved resulting in the number of notified TB patients increasing by 18% in 2018 (21,55,894) as compared to 2017 (18,27,959).
“Everything has paid off, be it active case finding, engaging the private sector, community engagement. The TB initiatives are being monitored at every level,” said a senior health ministry official, who did not wish to be named.
What is worrisome, however, is that a large number of cases (59%) notified in 2018 were from the productive age group of 15 to 44 years. The under-15 age group comprises 6% of the total cases and about 35% of the cases were above 45 years of age.
“We are putting targeted interventions in place. The new initiatives as part of the national strategic plan are being monitored at every level,” the official added.
The government’s target is to eliminate TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 80% reduction in incidence (new cases) and 90% reduction in mortality, keeping the year 2015 as baseline.
The incidence of TB has reduced from 217 per lakh population in 2015 to 199 per lakh population in 2018.
The mortality (death) has reduced from 36 per lakh population in 2015 to 33 per lakh population in 2018. To further achieve the targets, the health ministry is implementing a National Strategic Plan (2017-25).
In September this year, the health ministry launched a national level TB prevalence survey to know the exact disease burden in the country.
“To meet the target we need to know the exact disease burden. This survey is a pan-India survey that has been launched after a long time and will help in further strengthening the plan,” the official added.