Global Tuberculosis Report 2018: WHO has published a global TB report every year since 1997. The main aim of the report is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic, and of progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease at global, regional and country levels. This is done in the context of recommended global TB strategies and targets endorsed by WHO’s Member States and broader development goals set by the United Nations.
Status of the TB epidemic
- Overall, TB deaths have decreased over the past year. In 2017, there were 1.6 million deaths (including among 300 000 HIV-positive people). Since 2000, a 44% reduction in TB deaths occurred among people with HIV compared with a 29% decrease among HIV-negative people;
- Globally, an estimated 10 million people developed TB in 2017. The number of new cases is falling by 2% per year, although faster reductions have occurred in Europe (5% per year) and Africa (4% per year) between 2013 and 2017;
- Some countries are moving faster than others – as evidenced in Southern Africa, with annual declines (in new cases) of 4% to 8% in countries such as Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, thanks to better TB and HIV prevention and care. In the Russian Federation, high level political commitment and intensified TB efforts have led to more rapid declines in cases (5% per year) and deaths (13% per year)
- Drug-resistant TB remains a global public health crisis: In 2017, 558 000 people were estimated to have developed disease resistant to at least rifampicin – the most effective first-line TB drug. The vast majority of these people had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), that is, combined resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid (another key first-line TB medicine).
- WHO estimates that a quarter of the world’s population has TB infection.