Since the first World Tuberculosis Day held in 1982 on the 100th anniversary of Dr. Koch’s discovery of the infectious bacteria causing tuberculosis, March 24th has been commemorated to raise awareness for one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers, tuberculosis. Tuberculosis has been identified as an epidemic by the WHO and an accelerated action plan to end this epidemic by 2035 has been set. The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2021 has been announced by the Stop TB Partnership as “The Clock is Ticking” to signify that the world is running out of time to take action against his epidemic.
The accelerated action plan reveals steps that must be taken to end this epidemic is the conjoint result of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), World Health Organization (WHO) End TB Strategy, and the political declaration of the UN high-level meeting on TB held in 2018.
By 2035 with respect to 2015. The progress between 2015 to 2020, however, has not been promising. Between 2015 and 2020, a 9% decline in TB incidence rate was observed, however, this was far less than the actual planned 20% decrease. Nevertheless, a 19% and a 16% decrease in TB incidents have been recorded by the WHO European and African regions, respectively.
1.4 Million People Died of TB
A major challenge is having equal access to prevention and care services for tuberculosis. Although the WHO aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage for this epidemic, as of now, only 2 in 3 people with TB are known to be getting quality care and COVID-19 is making it worse. As both coronavirus and tuberculosis have similar symptoms and primarily attack the lungs, the pandemic has been a challenge for all tuberculosis patients with their TB treatments interrupted by risks of cross-contamination. Considering how only in 2019, an estimated 10 million were diagnosed with tuberculosis and 1.4 million of these died, we must all unite and take TB seriously by supporting the goals set for 2035 and raising awareness.
Take Action NOW.
Tune in to “World TB Day Online Talk Show” and get insights from a strong group of speakers from high level government representatives to TB survivors and advocates. Make sure to follow this event organized by WHO on March 24, 2 pm CET on their YouTube channel.
Learn more about the global tuberculosis program: