World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated on 24 March each year, focused on public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
2018 theme: "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world"
World TB 2018 day focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Mayors, Governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Many countries still rely on a long-used method called sputum smear microscopy to diagnose TB.
TB is a treatable and curable disease. Active, drug-susceptible TB disease is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
According to WHO, 10.4 million people fell ill with TB in 2017 and there were 1.8 million TB deaths in 2016, making it the top infectious killer worldwide. Over 95 percent of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Today is #WorldTBDay— WHO (@WHO) March 23, 2018
Despite being curable, tuberculosis is the world's leading infectious killer.
We need more leaders for a TB-free world!
To #EndTB, we need YOU.https://t.co/xpCBvndG8S pic.twitter.com/lYElGAluQD
Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4 500 lives a day. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.
Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. WHO has gone one step further and set a 2035 target of 95 percent reduction in deaths and a 90 percent decline in TB incidence – similar to current levels in low TB incidence countries today.
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world's deadliest diseases:— IRFAN (@simplyirfan) March 24, 2018
One fourth of the world's population is infected with TB.
On #WorldTBDay, take the Pledge to end this disease from the world. pic.twitter.com/o74aUBEXrC