New data released to mark World TB Day tomorrow (March 24, 2017) show that the number of new cases of TB in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region declined by 4.3 per cent per year between 2011 and 2015.
According to the figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, TB-related deaths also declined by 8.5 per cent. However, vulnerable groups for TB infection, such as people living with HIV, prisoners and migrants, did not benefit from this trend. New TB/HIV co-infections increased by 40 per cent.
“The general downward trend in reported TB cases is encouraging, but some groups are not benefiting from this trend and we need to target our efforts better if we want to end the TB epidemic,” said ECDC Acting Director Dr. Andrea Ammon. “Looking at the data for the EU/EEA, we see that the TB treatment success rate of co-infected patients is below the global target of 85 per cent. But although we know about the challenges of TB/HIV co-infection, for two out of three TB patients, the essential information on their HIV status was not reported in 2015. We need to get better at this”.