World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is marked on March 24. The day is observed to create and raise awareness about Tuberculosis, its impact on health, finances, and society at large. The day also urges people to assist the medical authorities in stepping up efforts towards eradicating this deadly disease.
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacillus Mycobacteria. This is an air-borne disease, which spreads on coming in contact with an infected person. TB majorly affects the lungs, and can really hamper a person’s immune system.
This year the theme of the day is ‘The Clock is Ticking’. The reason for choosing this name is to make sure that people realise that the time is running out and there is indeed an urgent need for action. The theme also sends across a message to the global leaders who had made big commitments for fighting TB, but have not done much since then. The situation has only worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic, as almost all health organisations are working towards eradicating COVID-19. As a result, all drives, programmes, campaigns against Tuberculosis have been put on the back burner.
World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24, as it is on this date in 1882, that Dr Robert Koch announced that he had found the bacterium that causes the disease. Ever since the discovery of the bacterium, many efforts have been made in the direction of curing the deadly disease. According to the official World Health Organisation (WHO), Tuberculosis is still one of the deadliest infectious killers. Approximately, 4000 people lose their lives to TB on a daily basis while 28,000 people contract this preventable and curable disease, daily. If the official data by WHO is to be believed then, around 63 million lives have been saved since 2000 because of the global efforts against Tuberculosis.