The infographic above summarizes the statistics around Tuberculosis (TB) from World Health Organization report World Health Statistics 2020.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that damages lungs and other parts of the body caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. The symptoms involve cough with blood, chest pains, loss of weight, fever and night sweats. There are two kinds of TB: latent/inactive TB and active TB. The former is not infectious while the latter is infectious. It is spread through air when a person with active TB disease spreads the bacteria by coughing, sneezing, breathing etc.

Statistics

The map in the infographic shows the TB incidence per 100,000 population. These can roughly be broken down into three sections:

  • There are high incidence countries around central and southern Africa, South-East Asia, Mongolia and North Korea
  • There are low incidence countries in Europe, North America, Australia/New Zealand and parts of Middle East
  • There is rest of the world around middle to middle-high of the range (parts of sub-continent around the mid-high range)

Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria are driving the numbers not just in terms of high number of incidences per 100,000 population but also through their large population sizes.

China has improved leaps and bounds in the last 2 decades reducing the numbers, however, they are still in the middle of the range and their population size makes it more impactful.

Generally, there has been a declining trend in TB incidences, around 2% decline per year between 2015 and 2019 with a cumulative decline of 9% during this period, however, this is less than half the target WHO had set for this period. WHO End TB Strategy has set targets for a 90% reduction in the number of TB deaths by 2030 and 80% reduction in TB incidence rates compared to 2015 level.

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