CSR Activity Report

Efforts to End Tuberculosis Worldwide

The Fujifilm Group is working in partnership with public and private organizations to end tuberculosis (TB), which has become a global social issue, particularly in developing countries, by focusing on ”medical checkups.

Fujifilm Group's Commitment to End Tuberculosis

What is TB?

TB is an infectious disease that is transmitted when tubercle bacilli enter the lungs and can spread through the air when infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, etc.. In the early stages of the disease, symptoms similar to those of a cold, such as cough, phlegm, and fever, may appear, and in severe cases, breathing difficulties may occur. TB infection mainly causes inflammation of the lungs, so early identification of the condition through radiography and appropriate treatment will increase the possibility of a cure.

TB is one of the three major infectious diseases*1 in the world and has an extremely high social and economic impact due to its high infectiousness and the large medical costs involved in diagnosis and treatment. It is estimated that more than 10 million people are infected annually worldwide, of which over1.5 million die. The number of TB patients in developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, accounts for about 90% of the world's total*2 , and about 40% of new cases worldwide, or about 4 million people, are said to be undetected (latent cases). It is crutial to identify the affected persons at an early stage through screening tests in order to control the spread of infection and reduce the risk of serious illness.

  • *1 Tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria.
  • *2 Adapted from WHO GLOBAL TUBERCLUOSIS REPORT 2020.

Tests Required for TB Diagnosis

When a patient visits a medical institution with symptoms of suspected TB, such as cough and sputum, a chest imaging test (X-ray or CT) is first performed to check for lesions in the lungs. If abnormalities are found, sputum*3 is collected and tested for TB, and if the presence of TB bacteria is proven, pulmonary TB is diagnosed.

  • *3 Sputum: So-called ”phlegm. The human throat produces secretions to keep the airways wet at all times, because if the airways become dry, they are more susceptible to infection by viruses and other substances. This secretion increases in volume when viruses, bacteria, or foreign substances enter the airways, wrapping pathogens and making it easier to push them out. Pathogens wrapped in secretions are ejected from the mouth as sputum.

Figure 1.  Flow of TB Diagnosis

If symptoms of cough and sputum persist for more than 2 weeks, a chest X-ray imaging test will be performed. If an abnormality is diagnosed, a tuberculosis diagnosis test using sputum will be performed. If mycobacterium tuberculosis is detected as a result, pulmonary tuberculosis is diagnosed.
  • * Listed with reference to the Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Public Health*4 website.
*4 Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Public Health (Japanese only)

Comprehensive health testing laboratory located in Kanagawa Prefecture (Japan). It conducts research on health-related research issues, including the prevention of infectious diseases, as well as testing and inspections.

Global TB Epidemic

The incidence rate in developing countries in Asia and Africa is generally higher than that in other countries, and in some countries the rate is extremely high, at more than 500 cases per 100,000 population per year. Japan, which until recently was considered a “medium endemic country,” is now positioned as a “low endemic country,” having met the WHO standard of “fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 population per year” for the first time in the 2021 statistics.*5

  • *5 Quoted from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, ”Annual Report of Tuberculosis Registrant Information Survey in 2021.

Tuberculosis cases per 100,000 population*6

A world map showing the annual number of tuberculosis incidents per 100,000 population by country. This shows that the incidence rate is high especially in developing countries in Asia and Africa.

Top Countries for Tuberculosis Incidents*6

  country name The entire world
Percentage of new cases
1 India 28.0% 
2 Indonesia 9.2% 
3 China 7.4% 
4 Philippines 7.0% 
5 Pakistan 5.8% 
6 Nigeria 4.4% 
7 Bangladesh 3.6% 
8 Democratic Republic of the Congo
(formerly Zaire)



Challenges of TB Care in Developing Countries

In developing countries, in addition to a lack of medical facilities, transportation infrastructure is often inadequate, and access to testing and treatment is limited, especially for those living outside urban areas. Even if patients are able to undergo testing, the correct diagnosis may not be made, and the disease may be missed and not lead to appropriate treatment.

Many are unaware that TB can be curable with early detection and treatment, so driving awareness and creating access to screening is crutial.

Inadequate access to medical care

Insufficient diagnostic techniques and knowledge

Inadequate “culture of Medical checkups”

  • * Quoted in Stop TB, “The Missing TB Millions.”

Fujifilm Group's Efforts to Expand TB Screening

The Fujifilm Group has commercialized a portable X-ray system that is compact, lightweight, easy to carry, and simple to operate in Japan and other countries. We believe that by utilizing this device, in partnership with healthcare providers, we can bring opportunities for TB screening to people living in developing countries, especially in remote areas such as mountainous regions and remote islands.

Our X-ray device gained attraction as a TB screening tool in developing countries from heads of state and ministers of health at the “Japan-Africa Business Forum,” an event held in conjunction with the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) in 2019. Subsequently, through the “TB Reach Program”*7 of the “Stop TB partnership”*8 , which is conducting global TB control together with WHO, and other programs, we conducted demonstrations tests of TB screening using this X-ray device in Pakistan, Zambia, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, and other countries.

As a result, the effectiveness and usefulness of this device in TB screening were recognized by the Stop TB Partnership, and it was recommended as a new TB screening tool in 2021. Furthermore, the WHO recommends to detect TB infection on the spot using AI technology on chest X-ray images in countries with few specialist physicians and insufficient resources. By providing an application that utilizes AI technology, we make it possible to check the analysis results on the spot.

Based on these achievements, the Fujifilm Group is supporting the expansion of TB screening in developing countries by providing this device in cooperation with the WHO, other public organizations, and private support groups.

We will continue to share more examples of our efforts to address social and health issues around the world as they become available.

  • *7 Activities aimed at delivering services such as screening and treatment to people in countries and regions where TB-related services are inaccessible.
  • *8 An organization established in 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland, under the umbrella of WHO. It is a collaborative organization that works with various partners to fight TB, a multi-sectoral partnership (Coalition).

Our portable X-ray system and related equipment

Portable X-ray System

Cassette DR

Compact Expansion Units

Mobile Console

Initiatives in each country