24th March observed as a World Tuberculosis Day each year. The day is celebrated to raise public awareness regarding the debilitating impact of TB on health, social and economic wellbeing of the person. The day also works to step up efforts to end the global epidemic of Tuberculosis.

Theme for 2021 the World Tuberculosis Day is “The Clock is Ticking” which marks the urgency to take measures against the disease. It has become more important to act right now in the light of ongoing COVID which has led to negligence towards TB patients.

Backdrop

The World Tuberculosis Day is to commemorate the discovery of bacterium causing Tuberculosis that is “TB bacillus” in 1882. This bacterium was discovered by Dr Robert Koch at the University of Berlin’s Institute of Hygiene. This discovery opened ways for diagnosing and curing the disease.

Proclamation of Tuberculosis Day

The Proposal to proclaim 24th March as World TB day was put forward by International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in 1982 which also marked the 100th anniversary of Robert Koch’s presentation. This proclamation was a part of year-long centennial effort by International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and WHO under the theme “Defeat TB: Now and Forever.

First World Tuberculosis Day

First ever World Tuberculosis Day was hosted by World Health Organization and Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Foundation in the fall of 1995 in Den Haag, The Netherlands.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. The disease generally affects lungs and it can also affect other parts of the body. Most of the infections have no symptoms. In this case, the disease is called as latent tuberculosis. The global epidemic remains one of the deadliest infectious killers. It causes the death of around 4000 lives to Tuberculosis each day and 1.5 million lives each year while around 28000 people fall ill each day and 10 million people each year. Half of the Tuberculosis cases are found in eight countries namely, India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Philippines and South Africa.

24 March World Tuberculosis Day 24 March World Tuberculosis Day