W.H.O. raises estimates on tuberculosis rates

Oct 22, 2014, 3:37 PM EDT
Patients wait to be attended at the Tuberculosis wing of Mbagathi district hospital on October 17, 2014 below a poster carrying information on prevention and handling of suspected Ebola cases.

The World Health Organization has issued a statement saying that -- using improved data -- it finds that there are about half a million more cases of tuberculosis present on a global level than it had originally estimated. The W.H.O.'s report says:

WHO’s "Global Tuberculosis Report 2014", published today, shows that 9 million people developed TB in 2013, and 1.5 million died, including 360 000 people who were HIV positive.
The report stresses, however, that the mortality rate from TB is still falling and has dropped by 45% since 1990, while the number of people developing the disease is declining by an average 1.5% a year. An estimated 37 million lives have been saved through effective diagnosis and treatment of TB since 2000.
“Following a concerted effort by countries, by WHO and by multiple partners, investment in national surveys and routine surveillance efforts has substantially increased. This is providing us with much more and better data, bringing us closer and closer to understanding the true burden of tuberculosis,” says Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the Global TB Programme, WHO.
The WHO report also said:
-Most of the people who developed TB in 2013 were in South East Asia and the Western Pacific
-India accounted for 24% of cases alone
-China saw 11% of total cases
-A further quarter were in the Africa, which had the highest rates of cases and deaths relative to the population
The WHO said that insufficient funding was hampering efforts to combat the disease. An estimated $8bn (£5bn) was needed each year, but there was an annual shortfall of $2bn, it said.