Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Did we reach the 2005 targets for tuberculosis control?

Christopher Dye, Mehran Hosseini, Catherine Watt

The World Health Assembly set targets to detect by 2005 at least 70% of all new sputum smear-positive cases arising each year and to cure at least 85% of these cases. The national tuberculosis (TB) control programmes of 199 countries reported that in 2005, 2.3 million new smear-positive cases were diagnosed under WHO’s DOTS strategy, out of an estimated 3.9 million (95% confidence limit (CL) 3.4 million to 4.4 million) new smear-positive cases arising in that year, a global case detection rate of 60% (95% CL 52% to 69%). Of 2.1 million new smear-positive patients registered for treatment in 2004, 84% had successful outcomes. Of the regions, only the WHO Western Pacific Region reached both targets, with case detection and treatment success rates of 76% and 91%, respectively; South-East Asia reached the treatment success target with a rate of 87%. In relation to countries, WHO estimates that 67 achieved the target detection rates and 57 achieved the target for treatment success, with 26 – including high-burden countries China, the Philippines and Viet Nam – achieving both targets. DOTS programmes diagnosed more than 26 million patients (all forms of TB) in 1995–2005. Building on this success, the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006–2015, describes the actions needed to implement WHO’s new Stop TB Strategy over the coming decade to reduce TB incidence, prevalence and deaths in line with the Millennium Development Goals.