March 24: World TB Day
The World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) is observed every year on March 24 to raise public awareness about the global epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.
WTD is observed to commemorate discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacillus (bacteria) causing TB on 24th March, 1882 by German microbiologist Dr Robert Koch. This discovery had opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB. It is one of eight official global public health campaigns observed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
2017 Theme (Campaign): “Unite to End TB”. This year it is second year of a two year “United to End TB” Campaign. WHO has placed special focus on uniting efforts to “Leave no one behind” including actions to address stigma, discrimination, marginalization and overcome barriers to access care.
On this occasion, WHO also released TB Ethics guidelines to ensure that the countries while implementing the End TB strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected.
About Tuberculosis (TB)
- TB is a disease caused by bacteria “Mycobacterium tuberculosis” that most often affect the lungs. The disease is spread from person to person through the air.
- It commonly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is the second biggest killer disease worldwide next only to HIV/AIDS. It can be completely cured with proper and regular medication.
- According to WHO, in 2015, 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and 1.8 million died from the disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.