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Free Content Progress in global tuberculosis control 1995–1996, with emphasis on 22 high-incidence countries

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OBJECTIVE: To review global tuberculosis case notifications and treatment outcomes, and to assess progress in TB control 1995–1996, especially in the 22 countries that carry 80% of all incident cases.

DESIGN: Compilation of case notifications; cohort analysis of treatment outcomes in DOTS and non-DOTS programmes.

RESULTS: The 181 of 212 countries (85%) that reported data to WHO in 1997 covered 97% of the global population. They reported 3.81 million cases of tuberculosis, of which 1.29 million were smear-positive, representing case detection rates of approximately 39% and 51%, respectively. DOTS programmes diagnosed 67% of new pulmonary cases to be smear-positive (65% expected), compared with 30% in other control programmes. They evaluated a higher fraction of registered cases (94% vs 55%), achieved higher treatment success rates (78% vs 45%), and a higher fraction of patients was shown to be cured by smear conversion (72% vs 23%). Despite the apparent advantages of DOTS, only 12% of all estimated cases, and only 15% of smear-positive cases, were treated in such programmes.

CONCLUSION: With the exceptions of Vietnam, Peru and Tanzania, none of the 22 highest-incidence countries achieved WHO targets for TB control. The slow progress is of greatest concern in 16 countries, including India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Keywords: case notifications; epidemiology; surveillance; treatment outcomes; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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