Of the approximately 10 million people who developed TB in 2018, around two-thirds were detected and officially reported. Around three to four million people are missed by health systems every year because they were not diagnosed, treated, or reported. Although TB is an entirely preventable and curable disease, it will continue to spread while the missing four million people remain undiagnosed and untreated. Finding them is essential if we are to end TB.
People are missed due to a number of reasons:
- People with limited or no access to healthcare (diagnosis and treatment).
- People who are not aware that treatment is available and accessible.
- People prevented from seeking treatment by stigma surrounding the condition.
- People with access to healthcare, but not identified as needing to be tested, or are tested but diagnosed incorrectly and treated.
- People who are being treated for TB without being notified to national TB programs, such as with informal care or some private care.
Priority countries with missing people
The majority (75%) of the missing three to four million people who have TB but have not been diagnosed (and are therefore not receiving treatment) live in 13 priority countries: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, and Ukraine. The Strategic Initiative funded by the Global Fund, Stop TB Partnership and WHO supports these 13 priority countries in closing the gaps in identifying and caring for people with TB, particularly in key populations and vulnerable groups.