The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that there has been a major drop in the diagnosis and monitoring of tuberculosis (TB) cases in recent times. Experts have said that it might be due to the lockdown imposed by the authorities to contain the COVID19 infection. The WHO has cautioned the health authorities of rising deaths due to tuberculosis in the coming years. Experts have pointed out that due to the disruption caused by the pandemic; there has also been a shortage of funds to continue the global effort to fight the dreaded disease. As per the federal agency, three high-risk countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines have seen a drop of 25 to 30 percent in the case notifications in the last six months as compared to last year.
All these three nations have reported the highest number of COVID19 cases worldwide. The WHO officials have said that a decrease in the case notifications can lead to a striking rise in deaths linked to TB in these three countries. The rate of cases linked to TB has decreased by 9 percent from 2015 to 2019. Experts have said that the deaths linked to TB as well have reduced by 14 percent in the same period. However, more than 1.4 million people have lost their lives due to the disease in 2019. Now the COVID19 pandemic is affecting the combat against TB, said the experts. The chief of the WHO, Dr, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the pandemic will ruin the efforts of all these years, which have been taken to fight TB. He has said that authorities need to take urgent action to control the situation, which might fall apart anytime in the future.
Experts from the WHO have noted that only $ 6.5 billion funds have been raised for TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care this year, which is half of the $13 billion targeted fund. This target fund has been decided by the world leaders in the UN Political declaration against tuberculosis. Experts have said that without urgent action and proper funding, global treatments and targets will be difficult to achieve. As per the data, Tuberculosis is one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world, which majorly affects the lungs and later spreads all over the body. Nearly 14 million people with TB have been treated in 2018 and 2019. The UN agency plans to treat around 40 million people by 2022 who have been diagnosed with the dreaded disease. According to health experts, nearly 85 percent of people who are diagnosed with the disease can easily be treated with six months of the drug regimen.