World Tuberculosis Day 2016 observed with theme Unite to End TB

Mar 24, 2016 10:00 IST

24 March: World Tuberculosis Day

World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) 2016 was globally observed on 24 March 2016 with the theme Unite to End TB.

The theme was selected against the backdrop of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.

The Goal 3 of the Agenda aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030.

About World Tuberculosis Day

• It is annually celebrated on 24 March to commemorate the day on which Dr. Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus in 1882.

• The day aims to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.

• It is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

• The other seven includes World Health Day (7 April), World Blood Donor Day (14 June), World Immunization Week (24-30 April), World Malaria Day (25 April), World No Tobacco Day (31 May), World Hepatitis Day (28 July) and World AIDS Day (1 December).

WHO’s End TB Strategy

• In May 2014, at the World Health Assembly, governments agreed on an ambitious 20-year (2016-2035) strategy to end the global TB epidemic.

• The strategy envisions a world free of TB with zero deaths, disease and suffering.

•  It also sets targets and outlines actions for governments and partners to provide patient-centered care, pursue policies and systems that enable prevention and care, and drive research and innovations needed to end the epidemic and eliminate TB.

About Tuberculosis

• It is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs.

• It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease.

• It is the second biggest killer next only to HIV/AIDS worldwide.

• As per an estimate, around 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died in 2013. In India, one person dies every two minutes due to this disease.

• TB can be completely cured if proper and regular medication is taken.

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