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Data | How did COVID affect TB treatment in India?

In this picture taken on March 22, 2022, Gautam Kamble, who is diagnosed with tuberculosis, holds chest x-rays during a routine consultation with a doctor at the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic, which treats people with drug-resistant tuberculosis, in Mumbai. - When Covid-19 ripped through India in 2020-21, several million people are thought to have died. Desperate efforts to stem the pandemic hurt the battle against another huge killer: tuberculosis. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) / TO GO WITH India-Health-tuberculosis-vaccine,FOCUS by Glenda KWEK

In this picture taken on March 22, 2022, Gautam Kamble, who is diagnosed with tuberculosis, holds chest x-rays during a routine consultation with a doctor at the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic, which treats people with drug-resistant tuberculosis, in Mumbai. - When Covid-19 ripped through India in 2020-21, several million people are thought to have died. Desperate efforts to stem the pandemic hurt the battle against another huge killer: tuberculosis. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) / TO GO WITH India-Health-tuberculosis-vaccine,FOCUS by Glenda KWEK | Photo Credit: PUNIT PARANJPE

India recorded a dramatic decrease in Tuberculosis (TB) cases during the pandemic. Restrictions on movement, the risks involved in going to healthcare facilities, and the diversion of hospital resources for COVID-19 treatment hindered those with TB from getting diagnosed and treated. Data show that the number of ‘active case findings’ campaigns also decreased. Active case findings are done among targeted risk groups, including people with diabetes, chronic kidney and liver disease, and patients on immunosuppressants, with the primary objective of detecting TB cases early. With an exception of Nigeria, a fall in case notifications was observed in many other high-burden countries in the world, including China, Indonesia and Pakistan in 2020 and 2021, other than India. However, India featured among the top five countries in terms of the quantum of fall in cases.

Active case findings

The chart shows the number of active case findings of TB in India. While the number was 27.74 crore in 2019, it reduced to 17.19 crore in 2020 and to 2.23 crore in 2021. If not for the special drives conducted after September, the 2021 numbers would have been fewer

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The dip in cases

 The chart shows the monthly or quarterly notifications of TB cases in select high TB burden countries between January 2020 and June 2021. The black line corresponds to the average number of case notifications in 2019. There was a dip in notifications in all countries except Nigeria

Quantum of drop

 The chart shows the % of TB cases in 2020 compared to 2019, in the 30 high TB burden countries. For instance, the number of TB cases in India in 2020 were 75% of the country’s 2019 numbers. In other words, there was a 25% reduction in the number of cases in 2020 compared to 2019. India’s drop in cases was the fifth-highest after Gabon (80% reduction in cases), the Philippines (37%), Lesotho (35%) and Indonesia (31%)

Source: WHO, Annual Reports: Central TB Division

Also read: Tuberculosis deaths up in pandemic: WHO


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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 6:08:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-how-did-covid-affect-tb-treatment-in-india/article65314263.ece