March 24 is celebrated as World Tuberculosis Day each year. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
Each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
The theme of World TB Day 2022 – ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ –conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.
Tuberculosis is the leading killer of people with HIV.
Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since the year 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020.
Drug-resistant Tuberculosis is a public health crisis. In 2020 only around 1 in 3 of those in need received treatment for drug-resistant TB.
Global progress in the number of people treated lags behind what is needed to reach the United Nations global targets, especially for drug-resistant TB.
Global progress in provision of TB preventive treatment lags behind what is needed to reach the overall United Nations global target.
Urgent investment of resources, support, care and information are vital to win the fight against TB.
Essential TB services should be sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that gains made in the fight against TB are not reversed.
Accelerated action is urgently required to reach SDGs and End TB Strategy targets.
We need to urgently close the investment gap to increase access to newer effective medicines, vaccines, and tools.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the deep disparities that persist between and within countries. People with TB are among the most marginalized and vulnerable, facing barriers in accessing care.
Over half of the children and adolescents with TB face barriers in accessing TB care due to difficulties in diagnosis and treatment.
Ending TB requires concerted action by all sectors.
Link to the World TB Day site:
Link to WHO fact sheet on Tuberculosis: