Sushmi Dey| TNN | Jan 24, 2017, 12.30 PM IST

<p>Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO</p>Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Investments in health research and development (R&D) are poorly aligned with global public health needs, the World Health Organisation said, highlighting that merely 1% of the total funding on health R&D was allocated towards neglected diseases like HIV , tuberculosis and malaria which account for more than 12.5% of the global disease burden.

“Investments in health R&D are still insufficiently aligned with global public health demands and needs,” the UN agency said in its as assessment which showed that high income countries had 352 times more health researchers than low income ones.

According to the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Re port-2016, India accounts for 24% of global TB cases. Six countries -India, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa -account for 60% of the global total. India is also the hub for multi-drug resistant TB.

India is under international pressure to tackle the national pressure to tackle the TB problem on priority , as it accounts for 1,400 of the 5,000 TB deaths daily worldwide. Though the number of deaths from the disease has come down in the past few years globally as well as in India, but with a huge rural population living with poor sanitation and poor nutrition, elimination of the disease in India looks like a distant dream.

The HIV and malaria burden is also significantly high in India. In 2015, the number of people living with HIV in India was estimated at 21.17 lakh, whereas 86,000 new HIV cases were found.

India also accounts for the highest malaria burden outside Africa. Around 7.5 lakh cases and 188 malaria deaths were recorded till September 2016. Government estimates show an investment of $18 billion is required to achieve its 2030 deadline to eliminate the disease from India.