World TB Day 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.
TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers.
Each day, close to 4400 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 74 million lives since the year 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with conflicts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East and socioeconomic inequities, has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB, and placed an even heavier burden on those affected, especially the most vulnerable.
In its latest Global Tuberculosis Report, WHO highlighted that for the first time in over a decade, estimated TB incidence and deaths have increased.
Urgent investment of resources, support, care and information are vital to ensure universal access to TB care for research.
This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing conflict and socioeconomic crises, that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
More investments towards supporting the rollout of WHO-recommended TB preventive treatment options, shorter TB treatment regimens, rapid molecular diagnostics and tests for TB infection, and other innovations and digital tools will lead to improvements in health outcomes and save millions of lives. Importantly, investments in research and innovation are vital to fast-track efforts to reach the end TB targets.
Ending TB requires concerted action by all sectors
To provide the right services, support and enabling safe environment in the right place, at the right time. TB is mainly concentrated in settings beset by poverty and other social and economic challenges and in the most vulnerable populations. Poverty, undernourishment, poor living and working conditions, among others, affect how people fall ill, develop TB and cope with the demands of treatment (including medical, financial and social), and influence the health outcomes they face. Thus, progress in combating TB and its drivers cannot be achieved by the health system alone and requires firm political commitment at the highest level, strong multisectoral collaboration (beyond health), and an effective accountability system.
Tackling health inequities to ensure health for all
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. WHO is calling for global action to address health inequities for people with TB and other diseases.
Link to World TB Day site:
Link to 10 facts on TB (WHO):
Link to WHO fact sheet on TB:
Link to World TB Reports: