WHO releases Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 (13 October 2016)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 2016.

Background Information:

The WHO End TB Strategy, approved by the World Health Assembly in 2014, calls for a

  • 90% reduction in TB deaths and an
  • 80% reduction in the TB incidence rate

by 2030, compared with 2015.

This global TB report is the first to be produced in the era of the SDGs and the End TB Strategy.

It provides an assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention eforts, as well as an overview of TB-specific financing and research.

It also discusses the broader agenda of universal health coverage, social protection and other SDGs that have an impact on health.

Data were available for 202 countries and territories that account for over 99% of the world’s population and TB cases.

Key Messages:

The report shows that the TB burden is actually higher than previously estimated, reflecting new surveillance and survey data from India. 

Since India accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s TB cases and deaths, these revisions have had a major impact on global estimates. (Estimates for India are considered interim, pending a national TB prevalence survey scheduled for 2017/2018.)

In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new (incident) TB cases worldwide, of which

  • 5.9 million (56%) were among men,
  • 3.5 million (34%) among women and
  • 1.0 million (10%) among children.

People living with HIV accounted for 1.2 million (11%) of all new TB cases.

Six countries accounted for 60% of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

An estimated 1.8 million people died from TB in 2015, of whom 0.4 million were co-infected with HIV.

Although global TB deaths fell by 22% between 2000 and 2015, the disease was one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2015, responsible for more deaths than HIV and malaria.

Gaps in testing for TB and reporting new cases remain major challenges. Of the estimated 10.4 million new cases, only 6.1 million were detected and officially notified in 2015, leaving a gap of 4.3 million. This gap is due to underreporting of TB cases especially in countries with large unregulated private sectors, and under-diagnosis in countries with major barriers to accessing care.

In addition, the rate of reduction in TB cases remained static at 1.5% from 2014 to 2015. This needs to accelerate to 4–5% by 2020 to reach the first milestones of the World Health Assembly-approved “End TB Strategy”.

Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

In 2015, there were an estimated 480 000 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and an additional 100 000 people with rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) who were also newly eligible for MDR-TB treatment.

India, China and the Russian Federation accounted for 45% of the combined total of 580 000 cases.

TB care and prevention

Notified TB cases increased from 2013–2015, mostly due to a 34% increase in notifications in India.

However, globally there was a 4.3 million gap between incident and notified cases, with India, Indonesia and Nigeria accounting for almost half of this gap.

In 2015, of the estimated 580 000 people newly eligible for MDR-TB treatment, only 125 000 (20%) were enrolled.

Globally, the MDR-TB treatment success rate was 52% in 2013.

In 2015, 55% of notified TB patients had a documented HIV test result. The proportion of HIV-positive TB patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 78%.

TB Financing

Investments in low and middle-income countries fall almost US$ 2 billion short of the US$ 8.3 billion needed in 2016.

This annual gap will widen to US$ 6 billion in 2020 if current funding levels do not increase.

Useful Links:

Link to the WHO news release:


Link to the Executive Summary of the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016:


Link to the Full Global Tuberculosis Report 2016:


Link to WHO infographic based on the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 [PDF]:


Link to Annex 2: Country profiles for 30 high-burden countries:


Link to Annex 3: Regional profiles for 6 WHO Regions:


Link to Annex 4: TB burden estimates for individual countries:


Link to WHO’s video to raise awareness about the End TB Campaign:


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