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World Tuberculosis Day: Time to End the Silent Pandemic
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World Tuberculosis Day: Time to End the Silent Pandemic

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Highlights
  • World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on March 24th every year to raise awareness about this silent pandemic
  • The theme this year (2020) is Its Time to act upon the commitments made to eradicate TB
  • TB continues to remain the most infectious disease worldwide and one among the top 10 causes of death

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated every year on 24th March to raise public awareness about the devastating consequences of TB. The theme for this year (2020) is 'It's Time' to step up our efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

End Tuberculosis by 2030

Tuberculosis (TB) is still the world's deadliest infectious killer. Over 4000 people lose their lives to TB every year and about 30,000 people fall ill cause of TB, which is preventable and curable. Since the year 2000, about 58 million lives have been saved in the fight against TB.

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In 1882, on this day, Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, which opened ways to diagnose and treat this disease. The theme - 'It's Time' helps us to act on the commitments made by global leaders to:
  • scale-up access for TB prevention and treatment
  • build accountability
  • ensure sufficient & sustainable financing for TB research
  • raise awareness to end this stigma and discrimination, and
  • promote an equitable, rights-based and people-centered TB response.


Facts and Statistics on Tuberculosis (TB)

Coronavirus and Tuberculosis

New Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading fast across boundaries to infect millions of people and animals. Already approved drugs might hold promise in treating coronavirus, reveal researchers.
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Two Dutch universities are experimenting if the tuberculosis vaccine can offer some protection against the new coronavirus (Covid-19). The universities are looking into whether medical staff would be better protected against the coronavirus after being injected with the BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Gurin) vaccine. However, the vaccine does not protect against the virus but helps in improving the immune system.

Things to do on World TB Day

On account of World TB Day, various events and activities are being organized by various organizations around the globe to end the TB stigma. Some ways in which we can get involved include:
  • Community discussion groups to discuss ways to prevent TB
  • Award ceremonies or other events can be organized to honor the life and work of those who dedicated their lives to prevent and fight TB
  • Photo exhibitions can be held to raise awareness of TB worldwide
  • Charity events can be held to raise funds to control the disease
  • Government agencies can broadcast and print ways to fight the disease
  • Social media posting can help promote real-life stories to create awareness on TB
This year, due to COVID-19, TB events and activities will largely take place through print and electronic media. However, let's continue to raise awareness about this silent pandemic on this World Tuberculosis Day and ensure that no one is left behind. Stay safe, Stay healthy.

References :
  1. World Tuberculosis Day 2020 - (https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2020/03/24/default-calendar/world-tuberculosis-day-2020)
  2. World TB Day 2020 - (https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/default.htm)
  3. World Tuberculosis Day - (https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-tuberculosis-day)
  4. DOES TB VACCINE HELP FIGHT CORONAVIRUS? EXPERIMENT STARTS AT TWO DUTCH HOSPITALS - (https://nltimes.nl/2020/03/18/tb-vaccine-help-fight-coronavirus-experiment-starts-two-dutch-hospitals)


Source: Medindia

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