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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 405-406
Where does the world stand in the battle against tuberculosis? 2015 global update

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2016

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Where does the world stand in the battle against tuberculosis? 2015 global update. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:405-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Where does the world stand in the battle against tuberculosis? 2015 global update. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 May 31];9:405-6. Available from:
Dear Sir,

Globally, in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) the year 2015 marks as an important milestone, with the world achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 pertaining to TB (halting and reversing the trend of the disease), shifting from MDGs to the next era of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and from the Stop TB Strategy to the End TB Strategy.[1] The estimates released under the global TB control 2015 report revealed that close to 9.6 million people were diagnosed with TB, of which 12% were HIV-positive.[1]

Since the year 1990, a remarkable reduction in TB associated mortality almost 50% has been achieved, accounting for more than 40 million lives saved worldwide.[1],[2] Further, the 2015 targets pertaining to the reduction in the incidence, prevalence, and mortality have been met in nine of the high-burden nations.[2] In addition, the global TB incidence has reduced by more than 18% since the beginning of the 20th century.[1] However, despite all the achievements and the availability of an effective diagnostic/therapeutic option through which nearly all cases can be cured, TB still remains as one of the biggest public health threat globally.[1],[2],[3]

Nevertheless, 1.5 million individuals died from TB, including 0.4 million deaths among the TB-HIV coinfected in 2014, which is unacceptable as most of these deaths could have been easily prevented.[2],[4] The health sector is falling significantly short in closing the detection gap as only 62.5% of the patients suffering from TB were notified to the health agencies.[1] Further, only 25.6% of the estimated multidrug-resistant TB patients were detected and reported that raises a serious question mark on the quality of care and the surveillance mechanism.[2] Even in the incidence aspect, almost 9.6 million new TB cases have been diagnosed, which is much more than the estimates of the year 2013, when 9 million cases were diagnosed.[1] In addition, significant gaps have been identified in the funding aspect to ensure sound implementation of the existing prevention and control interventions.[2]

However, if the international stakeholders really want to accomplish the proposed targets under SDGs (viz., minimize the TB deaths by 90% in comparison with the 2015 estimates, decrease incidence by 80%, and to ensure that no household is burdened with enormous expenditure because of TB) a lot needs to be done.[1],[2] There is an enormous need to bridge the gap on both diagnostic and treatment initiation fronts.[4] At the same time, quality research to facilitate the development of new diagnostics/drugs/vaccines, will also bring rich dividends to the TB prevention and control activities.[2],[5] Most of the above gaps can be addressed, if there is a continuous monetary support toward the current strategies, so that primary health care can be strengthened.[1],[2]

To conclude, even though the battle against TB is paying off in terms of reduction in incidence, prevalence, and mortality, if the policy makers really want to end the epidemic of TB, an up scaling of the existing services and financial investment in the research arena is the need of the hour.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

World Health Organization. Global Tuberculosis Report. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. p. 1-17.  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. Tuberculosis mortality nearly halved since 1990; 2015. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 13].  Back to cited text no. 2
Gulland A. Tuberculosis killed 1.5 million people in 2014. BMJ 2015;351:h5798.  Back to cited text no. 3
World Health Organization. Global Tuberculosis Report. Geneva: WHO Press; 2014. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sharma SK, Kohli M, Yadav RN, Chaubey J, Bhasin D, Sreenivas V, et al. Evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of Xpert MTB/RIF assay in pulmonary tuberculosis. PLoS One 2015;10:e0141011.  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, 3rd Floor, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.193940

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