World Tuberculosis Day

World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on March 24 to raise awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and the efforts made to eliminate it. It provides recognition to health professionals, researchers, policymakers, and advocates in the fight against TB.

History and Significance of World Tuberculosis Day

World Tuberculosis Day commemorates the day when Dr. Robert Koch discovered the tuberculosis-causing bacteria in 1882. The CDC estimates that TB has been in existence for over three million years, and it has had several names throughout history depending on where it was found.
The theme for World TB Day 2024 is the same as previous year: “Yes! We can end TB!” and aims to highlight the importance of increased funding, quick action, multisectoral cooperation, rapid adoption of new WHO guidelines, and innovative adoption in eradicating TB.
Following the commitments made by Heads of State at the UN High Level meeting in 2023 to accelerate progress to end TB, this year’s focus shifts to turning these commitments into actions.


  • 75 million lives were saved since 2000 by global efforts to end TB.
  • 10.6 million people fell ill with TB in 2022.
  • 1.3 million people died of TB in 2022.

WHO Initiatives

To help countries scale-up access to TB preventive treatment, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will release an investment case on scaling up the roll out of TB preventive treatment.
As per WHO, more investments towards supporting the rollout of WHO-recommended TB preventive treatment options, shorter TB treatment regimens, rapid molecular diagnostics and tests for TB infection, other innovations and digital tools will lead to improvements in health outcomes and save millions of lives. Investments in research and innovation are vital to fast-track efforts to reach the end TB targets.

As people with TB are among the most marginalized and vulnerable, and face barriers in accessing care, WHO is calling for global action to address health inequities for people with TB and other diseases.

India’s Initiatives

India launched ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’ campaign, which  urges people to join the campaign of TB-free India, and more than 10 lakh TB patients have been adopted by citizens. Indian children as young as 10-12 years old are also taking the fight against TB forward by becoming Ni-kshay Mitra. Since 2018, approximately Rs 2,000 crore has been sent directly to the bank accounts of tuberculosis patients, and about 75 lakh patients have benefited from it.



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