World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24 March to spread awareness concerning the deadly disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is among the leading causes of death globally. As a result, millions of people worldwide mark this day to raise awareness of TB and the challenge in eradicating it.
World Tuberculosis Day will be hosted this year underneath the theme, “Invest to End TB. Save Lives.” It underlines the need to intensify the battle against TB and keep the pledges international leaders have undertaken to end TB. It is highly vital given the COVID-19 outbreak, which has threatened the achievements gained in eliminating TB at jeopardy, and also the effort of the WHO to attain Universal Health Coverage.
TB can be cured and prevented. It is passed from one person to another by air. Bacteria are emitted into the atmosphere whenever someone with tuberculosis sneezes, spits, or coughs. By inhaling these bacteria, a person can become severely ill.
A third of the world’s population is infected with latent tuberculosis. This means people have contracted the disease but have not developed any symptoms and cannot spread it. In addition, tuberculosis-infected people have a 10 per cent lifetime probability of acquiring the infection. HIV-infected patients, people with insulin or anaemia, and those who smoke are at an enormous risk of developing the disease.
Nearly 4100 individuals lose their lives to TB every day, and approximately 28,000 get this treatable and avoidable disease. Over the last decade, 66 million lives have been spared due to TB programs and initiatives. Despite years of success in eliminating TB, the COVID-19 epidemic has overturned all of that. In 2020, TB deaths climbed for the first time in almost a decade.
History of World Tuberculosis Day
In 1882, Dr Robert Koch identified Mycobacterium, which causes TB, opening the door to identifying and curing the disease. TB is still the world’s worst contagious disease, and we must face it directly. In September 2018, world leaders convened at a UN High-Level Conference to accelerate TB battles and commit to eradicating the disease. On 24 March 1982, WHO marked the 100th anniversary of Dr Koch’s uncovering by celebrating the first World Tuberculosis Day.
Importance of World Tuberculosis Day
TB is curable and avoidable but generally affects the lungs. The sickness spreads quickly when the infected patient sneezes or coughs. It is conceivable for a healthy person to get sick by breathing the germs. Since 2000, TB screening and curative activities have improved the quality of health of 63 million people.
The old-fashioned view of TB makes it seem inconsequential. Despite being antiquated, TB still impacts roughly one-third of the global population. Two billion people are estimated to be infected with TB. Increasing awareness of the disease can assist those at risk in receiving treatment. TB could be abolished if people who are likely to contract the disease are vaccinated.
What Can You Do on World Tuberculosis Day?
- Getting yourself tested – Taking action to prevent disease always begins with you. Tests for TB are easy to administer and are often essential for work or travel applications. Having it on your health records is always better than having it in your lungs.
- Increase awareness – Latent TB can stay in the body without generating any symptoms. The majority of persons with TB are unaware of it. It is vital to increase information on how to get checked and healed. Preventing the disease is always best.
- Organise and volunteer with government and non-government organisations – All across the globe, World Tuberculosis Day is commemorated with activities to promote awareness and finances. If you cannot find any program or event near you, try organising one with your family and friends. Many groups committed to combating TB are looking out for volunteers and funds. In 2021, YUVA had staged 200 community activities in Mauritius, especially in disadvantaged areas. The primary goal behind this is to help children and young people in those places get access to proper healthcare essentials.
Announcements on World Tuberculosis Day
- To stop this illness from snatching our dear ones, let us take a vow to abolish this disease from the life of everyone we care for.
- There is nobody else who has the authority to influence our lives but us. We should not take sickness lightly; instead, we should combat it with our strength.
- No matter how catastrophic a sickness may be, we will not be vanquished. All we want is the determination to fend it off with perseverance.
- By integrating a healthy lifestyle with a positive attitude, we can combat TB. Everyone aims to enjoy a balanced lifestyle, and the key to that is to abstain from indulging in dangerous habits.
Since TB is an airborne disease, it is essential to maintain our surroundings properly. The usage of natural light sources can decrease the spread of TB; since ultraviolet rays destroy TB germs. It can also be reduced through good sanitation and the retention of proper airflow.
World Tuberculosis Day is a chance to gather governmental and social pledges for future success by eradicating TB. Millions more lives will be spared if additional investment is made, expediting the termination of TB.