TB in Urban India
Tuberculosis is now an epidemic in India.
With 3.4 million cases, India carries almost one quarter of the world’s total TB burden. It is the biggest health crisis confronting India, but it is not just a public health problem. It has a severe impact on the Indian economy and society as well. Every year, more than 100,000 TB-infected women and 300,000 children are abandoned by their families or forced to leave school. More than 70 percent of TB cases occur in individuals between 15 and 54 years old draining India’s economy of more than 23 billion dollars a year in lost productivity. There are nearly 100,000 cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, a deadlier and much costlier form of the disease that develops when tuberculosis is treated improperly, or the patient fails to finish their first round of treatment. Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is also contagious, and spreads in its multi-drug resistant form, causing an epidemic if left untreated and unchecked.