According to the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment report ‘Tuberculosis in the Netherlands 2014’, a total of 823 people were diagnosed with TB last year. That is 21 fewer patients than in 2013. For 2015, no increase in this number of patients is expected, on the basis of continued monitoring of the TB situation in the Netherlands, despite a greater influx of migrants.
The number of TB patients in the Netherlands depends, among other things, on the influx of immigrants and refugees. The incidence of tuberculosis in Syria, the country of origin of most current refugees, is not much higher than in the Netherlands. Therefore, the influx from this country will not affect the number of TB patients in the Netherlands. Refugees and immigrants from countries with a higher incidence of TB are screened for the disease on their arrival in the Netherlands.
Last year, of the total number of TB patients in the Netherlands, nearly three quarters had been born elsewhere in the world. The largest group of patients, similar to previous years, was originally from Somalia (105), Morocco (82) and Eritrea (53), according to the annual RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment report on tuberculosis in the Netherlands, which is based on data from continued monitoring.
Decrease in the number of TB patients is continuing
For the Netherlands, 2014 was the first year in which fewer than 5 TB cases were reported per 100,000 inhabitants. This is nearly 3% less than in 2013, when 844 patients were reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported on the global TB situation. Last year, of the estimated 9.6 million people infected with tuberculosis, only 6 million were reported to the WHO. An estimated 1.5 million patients died of the disease. Effective tracking and treatment have decreased the number of TB deaths by 47%, since 1990.