• World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24th March to spread awareness about the disastrous health, social, and economic consequences of TB and to take efforts to end the TB epidemic globally.
  • Earlier in 2021, Centenary celebration was observed for the BacilleCalmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine which is presently the sole vaccine available for the prevention of TB.
  • Why is World TB Day Observed and What is its Significance?
  • On this day in 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis that causes TB and his discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
  • Even today the TB is one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. As per WHO (World Health Organisation), every day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and about 28,000 people fall ill with this disease. Deaths from tuberculosis have risen in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade.
  • According to the WHO, in 2020, around 9,900,000 people fell ill with TB and died, around 1,500,000. Since the 2000 year, 66,000,000 lives have been saved by efforts taken globally to end TB.
  • India accounts for around 26% of the total TB cases across the world.
  • Therefore, World TB Day is observed to educate people around the world about the disease TB and its impact.
  • The theme is “Invest to End TB. Save Lives.”
  • The theme emphasises the critical need to invest resources to accelerate the fight against tuberculosis and meet the commitments made by leaders around the world to end tuberculosis.

Initiatives to Combat TB

  • The WHO has launched a joint initiative “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” with the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership.
  • WHO also releases the Global Tuberculosis Report
  • National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis Elimination (2017-2025), The Nikshay Ecosystem (National TB information system), NikshayPoshanYojana (NPY- financial support), TB HaregaDeshJeetega Campaign.
  • Currently, two vaccines VPM (Vaccine Projekt Management) 1002 and MIP (Mycobacterium IndicusPranii) have been developed and identified for TB, and are under Phase-3 clinical trial.

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family consisting of about 200 members.
  • Some of Mycobacteria cause diseases like TB and Leprosyin humans and others infect a wide range of animals.
  • In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
  • TB is a very ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC. TB is a treatable and curable disease.
  • TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
  • Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.


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