World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24 March to mark the discovery of the cause behind the deadly disease. The day is meant to spread awareness about tuberculosis and its devastating health, social and economic consequences.
On this day in 1882, Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium which causes tuberculosis. He claimed that Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacillus causesthe infection. This discovery paved the way towards diagnosing and curing the disease. According to Stop TB Partnership, at the time when Koch made the discovery, tuberculosis was the reason behind the death of one out of every seven people in Europe and America. In 2018, at a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, member nations came together and made commitments to end the global epidemic. Tuberculosis, a curable and preventable disease, mostly affects the lungs. The infection spreads through the air when the person suffering from it coughs or sneezes. If a healthy person inhales those germs, can get infected.
According to the World Health Organisation, It is important to keep talking about Tuberculosis as ‘TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000. Every year, World Tuberculosis Day is observed with a particular theme. In 2021, the theme is ‘The Clock is Ticking’. According to WHO, it emphasizes that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments made by the global leaders to end tuberculosis.