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Disease burden - Tuberculosis

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Tuberculosis incidence rate per 100 000 population per year in the WHO African Region, 2000 and 2009

Africa is home to approximately 12% of the world population, but is estimated to carry up to 30% of the global burden of tuberculosis (TB).[1]

The most recent estimate of TB incidence in Africa, carried out by WHO in 2007, reported a doubling of figures since 1990 (see figure), with a population ratio of 351:100 000.[1] Prevalence has also greatly increased, with rates standing at 473:100 000 in 2008. Mortality figures have risen, more than doubling between 1990 and 2007.

While estimated TB incidence has been seen to decline since 2005, intensified action in all African countries is needed to maintain progress. At present rates, most countries will not attain the Millennium Development Goal target (see figure).

Tuberculosis prevalence per 100,000 population per year in the African Region, 2000 and 2009

Expanding directly observed treatment short course (DOTS)

Significant progress in expanding DOTS coverage has been made since the beginning of the 1990s. An average coverage rate of 93% had been achieved throughout the WHO African Region by the end of 2008. By then, nine countries of the Region had reached the global target of a 70% case detection rate, compared with seven countries in 2007.


  1. 1.0 1.1 WHO global tuberculosis control: a short update to the 2009 report. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2009 (WHO/HTM/TB/2009.426)