World Tuberculosis Day 2022: Theme, History and significance

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Every year on 24 March, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated to promote public awareness about tuberculosis' severe health, social and economic implications. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that affects the lungs and spreads through the air from person to person. Germs enter the air when people with tuberculosis cough, sneeze or split. If a person inhales these germs, he or she becomes infected.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Tuberculosis kills over 4,100 people per day. About 30,000 people contract the disease each day, regardless of the fact that it is treatable.

Theme

‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ is the theme of World TB Day 2022, which emphasises the urgent need to invest resources to speed up the battle against TB and meet global leaders' commitments to end the disease. This is more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has jeopardised the progress to end TB as well as to provide equal access to prevention and treatment in line with WHO's goal of Universal Health Coverage. More funding will save millions of lives, bringing the tuberculosis epidemic to an end sooner.

History

The date marks the announcement by Dr Robert Koch in 1882 that he had found the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, paving the path for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Since the year 2000, global efforts to eliminate tuberculosis have saved an estimated 66 million lives. The COVID-19 outbreak, on the other hand, has halted years of progress in the fight against tuberculosis. In 2020, TB deaths climbed for the first time in almost a decade. We cannot overlook the fact that tuberculosis is still the world's biggest infectious killer. At the United Nations High-Level Meeting in September 2018, heads of state for the first time came together to accelerate the fight to tuberculosis in countries in order to meet targets and made commitments to end the disease.

Approximately one-third of the world's population has latent tuberculosis, which refers to persons who have been infected with TB bacteria but have not yet developed symptoms and are unable to transmit the disease. Another factor to consider is that those infected with tuberculosis bacteria have a 10 per cent lifetime risk of contracting the disease. People with weak immune systems, such as those living with HIV, malnutrition, or diabetes, or those who use tobacco are at a higher risk. Antimicrobial resistance is exacerbated by tuberculosis, which is the primary cause of death among HIV-positive patients.

 

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World Tuberculosis Day 2022: Theme, History and significance
World Tuberculosis Day 2022: Theme, History and significance
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