World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch’s announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch’s discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.
The theme of World TB Day this year is ‘YES! We Can End TB’. The theme brings attention to TB and our collective power to end TB by 2030. It is important to recognise the efforts and work done in 2022 by many TB High Burden Countries to recover from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring access to new diagnostics, new treatment regimens and digital technologies for the TB response.
In the fight to End TB there are several key areas to focus on such as financial needs to scale up implementation and speed up, research and development of new tools including a new TB vaccine, access to new rapid molecular diagnosis and to new shorter and more efficient treatment regimens, TB prevention, TB in children, strengthening and funding communities, rights and gender work. This year’s campaign aims to contribute to boosting the global TB awareness and ensure the endorsement of a strong political declaration and maximum participation by the Heads of State and Heads of Government at the upcoming United Nations High Level Meeting on TB in September 2023.
For further information about World TB Day please go to the following links: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-tb-day/2023 and