Over 10 million people get infected with Tuberculosis (TB) every year, and 1.6 million of them die as a result. TB is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19. The disease cuts across all spheres, with the largest number of new TB rate by country happening in Southeast Asian and African countries. In 2020, for example, eight countries accounted for two-thirds of new TB infections, comprising 474,000 patients with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in all.
Top 8 Countries with the Highest Number of New TB Infections:
- India (26%)
- China (8.5%)
- Indonesia (8.4%)
- Philippines (6.0%)
- Pakistan (5.8%)
- Nigeria (4.6%)
- Bangladesh (3.6%)
- South Africa (3.6%)
What are High Burden TB Countries?
The eight countries are among the 30 high-burden TB countries in the world. The 30 high TB burden countries account for 86% of TB incidences globally. High-burden countries refer to those given the highest priority at a global level. Countries referred as such report high TB infections and deaths every year compared to others globally. We look at five high TB burden countries and the TB rate by country:
TB in India
India has the highest TB infections globally. It accounts for a quarter of the global TB infections. In 2021, for example, 2,590,000 developed tuberculosis and 504,000 people died from the disease. A major cause of the high infection and death rates is delayed diagnosis due to a lack of modern testing equipment.
In most parts of India, TB is diagnosed through two sputum smears taken during different times of the day. This slow process leads to large margins of error, and many people get a diagnosis when it’s too late.
TB in China
Although China has reduced TB incidence and mortality over the last 30 years, it is still among the 30 high-burden TB countries worldwide. It ranks second after India reporting the highest number of TB infections in 2014 (930,000) and 2019 (833,000). China also reports the highest number of latent TB infections.
TB in Indonesia
The country ranks third among the 30 high-burden countries worldwide. However, the country’s Ministry of Health is committed to reducing TB incidence to 65 per 100,000 people by improving TB care and scaling up TB prevention.
TB in Pakistan
Pakistan ranks fifth among TB high-burden countries worldwide, reporting nearly 510,000 new TB infections yearly. It also has the fourth-highest prevalence of multidrug resistant TB worldwide. Delayed diagnosis, poor follow-up, lack of support for high-risk populations, and inadequate drug regimens are the key reasons for the high prevalence rate of TB.
TB in Nigeria
The country ranks second in TB prevalence in Africa and seventh among the 30 high-burden countries. Statistics show nearly 407,000 people are infected with TB every year. The situation is worsened by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a high number of drug-resistant TB infections.