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March 24 was World Tuberculosis Day. Not a day for celebrations in India if we consider that we have the highest TB burden globally with a million "missing" cases that remain undiagnosed, untreated and possibly undocumented. What's worse is that India's TB crisis -- the result of years of bureaucratic neglect and private sector disease mismanagement-- is now creating an epidemic of drug resistant (DR) TB. World TB Day then, if anything, is a reminder of the crisis ahead.
Each year an estimated 86 lakh tuberculosis (TB) cases are reported worldwide. India accounts for nearly one-fourth of the global TB burden, recording approximately 23 lakh new cases annually and nearly 1,000 TB deaths every day.