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World Health Organization announces Tuberculosis increase

World Health Organization announces Tuberculosis increase
Posted on October 31st, 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) released new details on its 2022 Global TB Report. 

The report states WHO found an estimated 10.6 million people were diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in 2021. That number increased by 4.5% from the year before. WHO also reported that 1.6 million died from TB, which included 187,000 HIV-positive people. 

Drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) also increased by 3% between 2020 and 2021 with 450,000 new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) in 2021. 

According to WHO, drug resistance emerges when TB medicines are used inappropriately, through incorrect prescription by health care providers, poor quality drugs, and patients stopping treatment prematurely.

WHO said this is the first time in many years an increase has been reported in the number of people falling ill with TB and DR-TB.

The number of people provided with treatment for RR-TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) has also declined between 2019 and 2020. Additionally, more than 161,700 people started on treatment for RR-TB in 2021, which WHO says is only about one in three in need.  

WHO cites continued challenges with providing and accessing essential TB services, which means many with TB were either not diagnosed or treated. The reported number of newly diagnosed with TB fell from 7.1 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020.


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