World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on 24 March to raise awareness about the deadly disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable and treatable disease, but still, it has taken a large number of lives across the world.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 4,100 people lose their lives to TB every day and about 28,000 people fall ill with the disease.
The world’s efforts to fight TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since 2000. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, years of progress made in the fight to the end has been reversed. For the first time in more than a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020.
That day marks the day in 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the tuberculosis-causing bacterium. During this time, one in seven people living in the United States and Europe died of TB, according to the website CDC. Dr. Koch’s discovery was the most important step towards the control and eradication of this deadly disease.
Johann Schönlein coined the term “tuberculosis” in 1834, although it has been estimated that Mycobacterium tuberculosis may date back to about 3 million years. TB was called ‘Tab’ in Ancient Rome, ‘Phithisis’ in Ancient Greece, and ‘Schepheth’ in Ancient Hebrew. In the 1700s it was called the ‘White Plague’ because of the yellowness of the patients.
Theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2022
The theme of World TB Day in 2022 is ‘Invest to End TB’. save a life.’ According to WHO, this year’s theme highlights the urgent need to intensify the fight against TB and invest resources to achieve the commitments of global leaders to end TB.
This is important due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has threatened TB progression and ensuring equitable access to prevention and care, in line with the WHO’s campaign towards achieving universal health coverage. The theme for 2021 was ‘The Clock is Ticking’ and it expresses the feeling that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments made by global leaders to end TB.