The World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) is observed every year on March 24 to raise public awareness about the global epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.
Why World Tuberculosis Day Hold So much importance?
WTD is observed to commemorate discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacillus (bacteria) causing TB on 24th March, 1882 by German microbiologist Robert Koch. This finding had opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.
Theme of World TB Day 2018
The theme of World TB Day 2018 is “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. Compared with other diseases caused by a single infectious agent, tuberculosis is the second biggest killer, globally.
What is tuberculosis?
- TB usually impacts the lungs, although it can pass on to other organs around the body.
- Doctors make a distinction between two kinds of tuberculosis infection: latent and active.
Latent TB – the bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state. They cause no symptoms and are not contagious, but they can become active.
Active TB – the bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others.
- It focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Governors, Mayors, parliamentarians and community leaders to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners.
Key points about tuberculosis.
- The World Health Organization estimates that 9 million people a year get sick with TB, with 3 million of these “missed” by health systems.
- TB is among the top 3 causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.
- TB symptoms (cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss, etc.) may be mild for many months, and people ill with TB can infect up to 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.
- TB is an airborne pathogen, meaning that the bacteria that cause TB can spread through the air from person to person.
Similar – World Cancer Day