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India ranked fifth in the world with documented investments in TB research

According to an article in the Hindu last year, with a $9.1 million funding in 2014 by several Indian government agencies, India is ranked fifth in the world with documented investments in TB research. India is ranked ninth in terms of money spent on TB research as a percentage of GDP.India’s spend of $9.1 million on TB research in 2014 is in line with its historical spending on TB research over the past four years ($8.6 million in 2013; $8.7 million in 2012; and $9.5 million in 2011). To give an idea of context, India allocated US $14.93 billion in 2014-15 for weapons procurement and in 2015-16, the Indian Space Research Organisation will spend about US $1.2 billion.

World leaders have agreed to end TB by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goal 3 .The Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan for 2016-2020, published in November 2015, articulates the need for new diagnostics, drugs and an effective vaccine and estimates that $9 billion will be required for research in these five years.

India has the highest burden of TB in the world, an estimated 2 million cases annually. This accounts for approximately one fifth of the global incidence of TB.It is estimated that about 40% of the Indian population is infected with TB bacteria. The vast majority of infected people have latent TB rather than active TB disease. It is also estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that 300,000 people die from TB each year in India. Which prompts some to ask why, by share of GDP, India spends relatively little on combatting TB.

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