Fight one disease, another is coming back at a gallop. This is the alarming observation of the WHO on tuberculosis, the cases of which are on the rise. According to the organization, the Covid-19 pandemic has reversed years of global progress in the fight against the disease. It estimates that around 4.1 million people have tuberculosis but have not been diagnosed or have not been officially declared, a figure up sharply from the 2.9 million in 2019.
According to the WHO report, there were 1.5 million deaths due to tuberculosis last year, 100,000 more than in 2019. A figure that jeopardizes the WHO’s strategy, including The goal is to reduce the deaths from the disease by 90% and the incidence rate of tuberculosis by 80% by 2030, compared to 2015.
A fall in diagnoses in Asia
In addition to the confinements that have complicated patient access to healthcare centers, the negative impacts of the pandemic on essential tuberculosis services are numerous, the Covid-19 vampirizing healthcare staff and financial and technical resources. The number of patients diagnosed has therefore fallen to 5.8 million patients against 7.1 in 2019.
The countries that contributed the most to the global reduction in TB notifications between 2019 and 2020 are India, Indonesia, the Philippines and China. These and 12 other countries accounted for 93% of the total global decrease in notifications.