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NEW DELHI: India reported a 24% year-on-year fall in tuberculosis registrations last year, to an estimated 18.05 lakh, due to the pandemic-led disruptions and lockdowns, as per the the India TB Report 2021.

"India has 30% of the world’s TB cases. We aim to detect cases early and prevent the emergence of new cases of TB by expanding TB care through the engagement of various stakeholders including the community...," union health minister Harsh Vardhan said.

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The report also found that between January and February 2020, registrations rose 6% on year. And by December, the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme had closed the gap on 'missing TB cases', reporting 11% more cases as projected in April.

In 2019, of the total reported tuberculosis cases of 24.04 lakh, the treatment success was at 82% and mortality rate was 4%. About 4% of patients were lost in follow ups, and treatment failure and regimen change was about 3%, as per the report.

Tuberculosis continues to be one of India’s most critical health challenges, which typically has devastating health, social and financial consequences for patients and communities at large. With an estimated 2.64 million tuberculosis patients, India has the largest caseload in absolute numbers, globally.

The government aims to have a TB-free India by 2025, five years ahead of the global target date.

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